Ministry of Human Rights launches an awareness campaign against child abuse

Ministry of Human Rights on Tuesday started an awareness campaign to prevent child abuse. While addressing the launching ceremony here at Islamabad College of Arts and Sciences in Islamabad, Federal Minister for human rights Dr. Shireen Mazari said that child abuse is rampant in society as on daily basis we observe different heart wrenching issues arising out of abuses. It is painful that this issue is treated as a social taboo. We have become reluctant to speak about it and educate our children accordingly and as a result, they are not able to understand the sensitivity of this issue. On the contrary, we need to make it a shameful act for the culprits, she added.

She said that child abuse could occur even at home and a child can be victimised by his/her own relatives but lack of awareness makes this situation even worst. She said that we need to take this issue seriously which requires us to recognise this as an issue and the parents should be open with their children. Federal Minister said that Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Child Protection Act already exists to ensure the protection of children and we are going to establish Child protection commission under the umbrella of ICT Act. Federal Minister said that besides acts and their implementation, awareness is an important element to be considered for which education institutions can play an undeniably crucial role.

She stressed that we can use the platform of the schools to provide counseling to our students. Teachers should give awareness in the classes about child abuse so that kids could be able to identify if someone attempts to abuse them adding that parents should also educate their children. By educating students to identify the issue is imperative if they to save themselves at first stage.

She shared that Ministry of Human Rights is running its Child protection centre which provides the facilities of free education, counseling and free medical treatment to the children. In addition, Ministry of Human Rights has established helpline 1099 to report issues related to human rights abuses including the child abuse. It would take action against culprits and will utilise all efforts to support the child and ensure the punishment of culprit.

Published in Daily Times, February 13th  2019.