Efforts afoot to establish Child Protection Authority: minister

Karachi: Sindh Minister for Social Welfare, Rubina Qaimkhani, on Tuesday said that missing children are a cause of great concern for government as they are feared to be used for human trafficking, terrorism and other illegal activities.

She was addressing a seminar organised by Roshni Helpline, a non-governmental organisation working against child abuse, along with the cooperation of social welfare department and UNICEF in order to celebrate ‘Universal Children Day.’ The theme of the seminar was ‘End violence against children.’

According to statistics obtained by ‘Roshni Helpline’ from 100 police stations of the city, 2283 children went missing in 2012; 2211 in 2011; 3090 in 2010.

Although final reports have not yet been compiled for Year 2013 but uptill now 796 people have contacted Roshni Helpline, complaining regarding missing of their child.

The minister said that she was striving hard for establishing ‘Child Protection Authority’ in the province and a forum for missing children at federal level.

“It is the responsibility of all sectors of society to protect the rights of children and save them from all kinds of violence.” Qaimkhani said that it was not only the responsibility of politicians to take up the issue but civil society, parents, teachers and people are also responsible in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, UN representative in Pakistan, Dr Jaben, applauded joint effort of social welfare department and Roshni Helpline in raising the issue of child abuse in Sindh.

She said that abuse against children was not reported, therefore, it was invisible. She said that it was responsibility of society to raise awareness against such abuse and register it with police and other law enforcing authorities.

“Domestic violence is main cause of missing children and it should be halted immediately while ‘Child Protection Act’ should also be implemented with immediate effect.”

Founder of Roshni Helpline, Mohammad Ali, said that it was very satisfying for him that his organisation had taken a lead in ending violence against children and he would continue his efforts for the social welfare of the society.