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Child Rights Protection and Governance

Pakistan is the sixth country in the world to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights (UNCRC) who adopted it within less than one year after it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989.

Pakistan has got Vision 2025 and SDGs 2030 in compliance of the UNCRC Pakistan and has legal frameworks with regard to child rights and child protection at National and Provincial level. Various articles of constitution of Pakistan 1973  enshrine  child rights and child protection such as Article:25A guarantees  right to education, Article:11/3 relates to prohibition of hazardous labor of children, Article:25/3 empowers government to make special provisions for protection of women and children and Article: 35 also guarantees  the protection of family, mother and child. In addition, Pakistan has also pro-children laws such as National Commission on the Right of the Child Act, 2015 and Juvenile Justice system Act, 2018.

Apart from the constitutional provisions and legislation at the federal level, there are also various special laws enacted by Provincial Assembly of Government of Sindh i.e. The Sindh Child Protection Authority Act, 2011; The Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013; The Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2017; and The Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2013. Yet the implementation of laws with true spirit and child rights awareness are very much needed.  In fact, children still face many challenges in Pakistan.

LRF works for the promotion and protection of children rights, focusing children at risk of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. LRF advocacy works for policy change and support/assist to the government for establishment of child protection systems at all level.

In particular LRF, through its practical work on demand & supply side, try to ensure that:

  • Every child is protected from violence, exploitation and harmful child labor;
  • Every child is registered at birth and gets early childhood development as well as free and compulsory education;
  • Every child who is in conflict or contact with law should receive free legal aid, psychosocial support and rehabilitation/reintegration services;
  • Every child lives in a safe and clean environment with access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation; and
  • Child Protection System are established at community, district, provincial and national level.

LRF believes that Child Rights, Protection and Governance can be achieved through strong partnerships with provincial authorities, teachers, justice providers, health professionals, social mobilisers, Civil Society Organizations, LSO, CBOs, communities, families and of course the children themselves.

Highlights

 

LRF supports the Sindh Child Protection Authority at Social Welfare Department-Government of Sindh in establishment of the Child Protection Units in Sindh; supports Sindh Government in achieving SDGs; and help children realize their rights under the UNCRC, Constitution of Pakistan and National and Provencal legal frameworks.

LRF, through its representative, has been part in developing the child protection related laws, policies and rule of businesses such as National Commission on the Right of the Child Act, 2015; The Sindh Child Protection Authority Act, 2011; The Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013; and the Sindh Prohibition of the Corporal Punishment Act, 2016.

LRF’s senior representatives are appointed by the Women Development Department Government of Sindh as a Member Provincial Monitoring Committee on Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Rules 2016.

LRF has also been awarded membership status by the Sindh Government in committee for the development of rules of businesses on The Sindh Prohibition of the Corporal Punishment Act, 2016.   

Ever since 2013, LRF in collaboration with SHED Foundation, has worked for child rights focusing on child life in safe and clean environment, access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation clean environment, environment protection, education and socio psychological empowerment.

Establishment of Child Protection Units

LRF has signed MOU with Sindh Child Protection Authority of Social Welfare Department, Government of Sindh and established Child Protection Units in Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Larkana and Dadu in Sindh. In this regard, LRF has also founded/established Child Protection Desks at Police, Health, Education and Women Development Departments in above mentioned selected districts of Sindh.

Establishment of Accelerate Learning Centers for Out of School Girls

LRF has established 70 Accelerate Learning Centers in Shikarpur, Sindh Pakistan. These centers are providing educational opportunities to 2,250 out-of-school girls from semi-urban and rural areas of diverse demographics (ethnic and religious minorities, marginalized groups and families with low income), with special consideration given to physically challenged girls with special needs of learning who were drop out of school due to these challenges. Contextualized social mobilization strategy is being utilized to address specific needs of children from diverse demographics by including people from various backgrounds in planning and execution of mobilization drives. The model will be built upon existing programs, infrastructure, policies, and frameworks while by also engaging in innovative programming to tackle the issue of early child marriages and overcoming other barriers to girls’ education like poverty, cultural norms, violence, female mobility and gender inequality. This Program is being implemented in collaboration with Non-Formal Education Directorate Sindh of Education and Literacy Department (SELD), Government of Sindh.

Capacity Building of Key Stakeholders on Child Rights & Protection

LRF has organized multiple sensitization and capacity building workshops in Sindh to build the capacity of selected justice providers such as police, judiciary, lawyers, prosecution, probation, social welfare, child protection officer, officials from formal/non-formal education and labor departments on children related laws and UN CRC.

For the capacity building of key stakeholders on Child Rights & Protection, LRF has joined hands with leading training institute such as Sindh Judicial Academy, Saeedabad Police Training Academy Karachi, Social welfare Training Institute, Karachi and NARA Prison Training Institute, Hyderabad where LRF has jointly organized trainings workshop to build capacity of officials on UNCRC and children rights.

LRF Role in Child Rights Awareness

LRF has developed and introduced a variety of IEC materials for networking and advocacy campaigns to make all concern stakeholders well aware about child rights in Pakistan. LRF has become an active part of Child Rights Movement and in collaboration with Alliance against Child Marriages, it has organized many awareness sessions and mock court sessions on child rights. LRF has conducted awareness seminars and workshops for communities as well. LRF also translated and published the salient features of laws i.e. leaflets and posters of The Child Marriage Restraint Act were distributed among different departments and marginalized communities across Sindh, Pakistan.

LRF Role in Early Childhood Development Network Pakistan

LRF being a core team member of Early Childhood Development Network of Pakistan (ECDNP) has lobbied with Government Sindh, education department and curriculum wing to formulate the policy on ECD, ECE and CEC in Sindh. LRF, as partner of ECDNP, is also part of lobbing with Government Pakistan is organizing a groundbreaking international conference on ECED in Pakistan.  The vision of ECD Network Pakistan is “Holistic and inclusive Early Child Development access for every child of Pakistan” and the mission of ECDNP is “The ECD Network of Pakistan will advance the cause of holistic and inclusive ECD programs in Pakistan that will help raise happy and healthy new generations of Pakistani citizens and promote pluralism and social equity”.

LRF Role in Providing Free Legal Aid, Psychosocial Support and Rehabilitation Services to Juveniles

LRF has received NOC from the Home Department, Government of Sindh for providing legal aid to the juveniles in Remand Homes, Youthful Offender’s Industrial Schools and Juvenile Wards. LRF has also received NOC form the Prison Department for providing legal aid, counseling and rehabilitation services to the juveniles in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana. As of 2019, LRF has provided legal aid and counseling services to the 65 juveniles in all over the Sindh. 

LRF’s Research Work on Child Rights, Protection and Governance

  • LRF conducted field research on status of implementation of  the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act-2013 in Sindh during 2017 on behalf of Alliance Against Child Marriages Sindh with aim to do in-depth analysis of registered cases under this act; highlight the gapes and lacunas in the implementation of the act; to underline the gaps  and issues facing its implementation; analysis case registration and litigation procedures and impacts on justice delivery mechanism for victims of child marriages;  to extend recommendations for its effective implementation.
  • LRF developed SOPs for police and juvenile institutions to enhance their capacity to deal with juveniles as per under Juvenile Justice System Ordinance in Sindh. These SOPs were aimed at emphasizing the effectiveness of the juvenile’s rehabilitation and social reintegration by providing four types of cares viz institutional care, after care services, foster care and sponsorship to such juveniles. These SOPs were endorsed by the all justice provider departments
  • Conducted research study on “Fair Trial and Due Process of Law for Under Trail Prisoners in Court Cases”. Research report has been printed and being disseminated far and wide in Sindh.
  • Conducted Child Rights Situation Analysis (CRSA) as baselines in 2019 in Jacobabad District to determine the state of child rights and child protection issues in the district.
  • LRF conducted Pre-KAP (Knowledge, Aptitude and Practices) survey in Jacobabad District to determine the status of corporal punishment or physical and humiliated punishment (PhP) of children at homes, schools and other care institutes.