On 26th November 2020, Muslim Charity along with the Government of Punjab, Child Protection & Welfare Bureau and Search for Justice held a consultation workshop in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, to identify the gaps and develop complimentarily interventions for the Prevention of Child Violence and Sexual Abuse. The workshop was attended by the Department of Police, Social Welfare, Judiciary along with representatives from UNICEF, UNFPA, Pakistan Red Crescent, Child Protection & Welfare Bureau along with civil society organisations based in Lahore and Punjab.
The participants highlighted the need to strengthen the awareness and educational campaign for parents and the general public along with key service delivery persons in society. It was recommended that an awareness and educational campaign was required that was connected with the existing systems of reporting and relief to victims. The workshop also concluded the need to improve victim support by increasing the quality of services like shelter, transportation, legal aid and provision of psycho-social services. The workshop was attended by Sarah Ahmad (Chairperson, Child Protection & Welfare Bureau), Muhammad Basharat Raja (Minister of Punjab for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Provincial Minister of Punjab for Bait-ul-Maal and Social Welfare) along with Ijaz Masih (Minister of Human Rights & Minorities Affairs).
Basharat Raja highlighted the need of collaboration between government departments and civil society organisations to implement existing laws on sexual abuse and violence by educating the public and all stakeholders. In his closing remarks he appreciated the government departments, civil society organisations, Chairperson of Child Protection & Welfare Bureau along with Muslim Charity and Search for Justice for their efforts to explore the way forward for the prevention of child violence and sexual abuse.
In her closing remarks Sarah Ahmad thanked the civil society representatives and officials from government departments for their support to prevent child violence and sexual abuse. She also highlighted the inevitable services by the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau along with the limitation of resources to expand its services.
Irfan Rajput (Muslim Charity’s Director Programmes and Policy) thanked ‘Search for the Justice’ and all the participants for attending and supporting Muslim Charity in its planning process to find appropriate interventions for the prevention of Child Violence and Sexual Abuse in Pakistan. Irfan Rajput also explained the wish of British Muslims to support government and civil society organisations for ensuring child rights in Punjab and Pakistan with formation of partnerships with relevant stakeholders.
Muslim Charity’s Children of the World campaign aims to rescue children from abuse and exploitation and provide a better future for them. You can learn more about the campaign and support the cause by donating here.
Photographs from the Workshop: