The Child Protection and Welfare Bureau is providing remarkable services, regarding the protection and welfare of neglected children. It was established through a provincial legislation enacted in 2004. Since then, it has been providing iron shield to thousands of children at risk. 

It is governed by a director-general with headquarters based in Lahore. Various districts offices have been established all over Punjab, under the supervision of district officers. The institute has taken in children who are beggars, lost and runaways. It’s extending its jurisdiction to children at risk – working in hazardous environments, victims of domestic violence, and involvement in criminal activities. Under their wing, families of the runaways and the lost are traced and contacted. They have managed to reunite thousands of children with their families, not just throughout the country but also across the border – Afghanistan. 

Furthermore, it also provides the best possible environment for its permanent inmates. Proper education along with religious teachings, food, clothing and medical care is given. The organisation has played a huge role in abating child begging, domestic violence and sexual abuse cases, by logging FIRs and getting culprits punished. Previously there was no adequate adoption mechanism of abandoned infants, but CP and WB have helped change that. They have created a safe and secure fate of such infants, giving them to the most suitable families through an adoption procedure by child protection court. 

Unfortunately, the institution is going through financial issues, inadequate infrastructure and undefined officials hierarchy. Lack of coordination mechanism with other relevant agencies are impending its progress. Though despite the obstacles it has proven itself a hallmark institution, struggling for the protection of destitute and neglected children in Pakistan. 

MUHAMMAD WAQAS HARAL,  

Chiniot, July 5.