ISLAMABAD-Ministry of Human Rights on Friday held awareness session on child rights and prevention of child abuse in Sabzi Mandi, I-11, Islamabad for three child protection committees.

A statement released by the ministry said that to continue Minister of Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari’s mission to raise awareness of public about the rights of children and prevention from child abuse, the Ministry of Human Rights through its Human Rights Awareness Programme engaged three more child protection committees from Sabzi Mandi area, Meher Abadi and I-9 to inform them about the rights of children, and ways in which children can be protected from child abuse through community based measures.

The session was conducted at the Office of the Chairman, Market Committee, Sabzi Mandi I-11 Islamabad where the audience of 45 participants comprised of parents, civil society representatives, community leaders and media.

Director General (IC), Ministry of Human Rights, Hassan Ali Mangi shared his views on child rights saying that the society must follow the guidelines of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and treat its children with love and care.

He further said that it is the duty of parents, society and the government to provide a safe space for the growth of children. He further encouraged community representatives to hold dialogue with children about child abuse.

Adding to that he said that MoHR is committed to protect the rights of every child in Pakistan and the role of parents and teachers in sensitising them and raising awareness on self-protection. Discussion was based around the rights of children in the constitution of Pakistan, protection of child rights, role of MoHR and its pledge to protect the rights of every child in Pakistan.

Participants were enlightened to encourage children to speak out whenever they feel uncomfortable with anyone whether it’s the peer, family or someone at school. The members were also informed about newly passed bill of domestic labour under Schedule 1 of the Employment of Children Act 1991, in an effort to strengthen legislation pertaining to the issue as child domestic labour causes children physical, psychological, moral and social harm. The participants were encouraged to report cases on any kind of Child Abuse on the Ministry’s helpline 1099 which is easily accessible to everyone.

“The session was very good and I found it really helpful. One of the most enjoyable and informative sessions I have ever attended. Thank you for organising and a very special thanks to the great speaker. I learned different new aspects of child abuse and laws regarding child rights.”