Peshawar: As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, UNHCR offices across Pakistan organized various activities aimed at raising awareness among the people specially youth about safe education.
The annual 16 Day campaign of Activism against Gender-based violence conclude on 10 December, marking the international Human Rights Day. This years, UNHCR adopted the global theme, Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All, placing a special focus on young people.
The UNHCR and partners staff across the country highlighted specific contributing factors which are the bottlenecks in accessing safe education. The staff arranged awareness raising sessions among the refugee and hosting communities and engaged teachers and parents to find ways to make safe education a reality for young people so that they could realize their potential.
“Education is the best protection tool. Access to safe education encourages the children to develop confidence and critical skills which is the key to prosperous future,” said Indrika Ratwatte, Representative of UNHCR in Pakistan.
He said UNHCR stands committed to work with all relevant actors and especially children and young people to ensure ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in all its forms irrespective of their nationality.
Access to safe education is one of the most powerful tools for realizing a better future for refugees and a core component of UNHCR’s international protection and durable solutions mandate.
As part of the campaign, under the “safe education for all” UNHCR and partners in Islamabad and Punjab arranged different activities taking Pakistani and refugee youth on board. The activities include puppet shows, drawing competition, exhibition, arts competition, essay-writing competition, TV and Radio and posters campaigns displayed with messages at UNHCR and partners offices.
More than 30 events were organized in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa highlighting various aspects that are affecting the enrolment and dropout ratio in the schools. Special sessions with male community members were arranged aimed at creating awareness about safe education. In order to ensure coexistence between Afghans refugees and host communities, a cricket match was arranged besides a tournament arranged between lawyers and Afghan youth.
In Balochistan, a wide range of activities including awareness raising sessions and seminar about safe education were organized in different refugee villages, urban settlement and schools besides, drawing competition was arranged.
During the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Karachi, UNHCR and partners conducted awareness sessions for Afghan students, highlighting the importance of education and child rights. Essay-writing competitions were organized for Afghan students both for male and female.