KP govt working to provide protection, care to children at risk

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Commission with technical support from UNICEF organised nine days long training for all relevant professionals involved in the entire case management and referral process at Peshawar.

For the provision of required services to a child in need of protection and his/her caregivers, Child Protection Case Management and Referral System has been developed in light of the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child for Pakistan.

The concluding ceremony was attended by Anwar Zaib, KP Minister for Social Welfare, Ijaz Muhammad Khan, Deputy Chief KP CP&WC, Susan Andrew, Child Protection Specialist and Sohail Ahmad, Child Protection Specialist from UNICEF.

A communique issued by the KP Child Protection & Welfare Commission reads that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the KP Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010, is working to provide for the care, protection, maintenance, welfare, training, education, rehabilitation, and reintegration of children at risk in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

For the protection and welfare of children, the commission has established Child Protection Units in twelve (12) districts of the province namely Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Buner, Kohat, Bannu, Swat, Lower Dir, Chitral, Abbottabad & Battagram.

The communique adds that the training aimed to build the knowledge and skills of newly recruited social workers and psychologists in these 12 CPUs and enable them to identify, register, protect, monitor, investigate reports of cases of child abuse, including intervention and referral, and rehabilitate children from all types of abuse, including violence, exploitation, and neglect.

Addressing the ceremony, Anwar Zaib said that the KP government is serious about the growing number of children suffering from violence and abuse in the province and is committed to invest in strengthening the required system in this regard. He also emphasised on the fact that parents and families should also play their due role in protecting children and public should work closely with the government to address these issues comprehensively.

Provincial Minister for Social Welfare urges parents, families to protect children from violence, abuse

Ijaz Khan in his remarks mentioned that since Child Protection Case Management & Referral System fundamentally works on the principles of collaboration between Child Protection Units within the District Social Welfare Department and other relevant stakeholders and service providers, a comprehensive training manual has been designed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection & Welfare Commission with the technical support from UNICEF for the use and reference of all relevant professionals involved in the entire case management and referral process.

He also urged all relevant departments and stakeholders to enhance their collaboration with the CPUs in their respective districts for working together to ensure children in need of protection get all the required and assessed support and welfare. He thanked UNICEF for providing technical and financial support in operationalising the aforementioned Child Protection Case Management and Referral System in the province.

While introducing the Child Protection Case Management and Referral System, Susan Andrew from UNICEF said that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare (Amendment) Act, 2022 every child has the right to protect from abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation. “Goal 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals also reflects the world’s commitment to providing the necessary services to protect children from abuse,” she added.

She added that “an integrated, multi-sectoral and gender-responsive child protection case management and referral system is a known method for coordinating the provision of required services to a child in need of protection and his/her caregivers. Pakistan’s initiative to establish such a system is consistent with the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child for Pakistan to “establish effective mechanism to receive, monitor, and investigate reports of cases of child abuse.”

Sohail Ahmad, from UNICEF also thanked the government for allocating financial resources to establish CPUs in 12 districts and appointing professional workforce for the protection of children from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation which is exemplary in the country. He also emphasised on the collective efforts between KP CP&WC, government line departments and civil society to promote these CPUs within the communities so that children in need of protection can access the professional service and advices from these CPUs.

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