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National Webinar on Ending Corporal Punishment of Children in Pakistan

State and non-state actors pledged to end corporal punishment and promote positive disciplining

Corporal Punishment is a non-sense that still continues in schools and at homes because of a wrong perception that corporal punishment is an effective way of educating children. It is associated with a wide range of short and long-term negative impacts, both for the individual child and society as a whole. Let us all pledge to end corporal punishment in schools and promote positive disciplining. This was remarked by Ms. Shamim Mumtaz, MPA & Chairperson Sindh Child Protection Authority (SCPA), Social Welfare Department, Sindh in her key note speech at the Webinar on Ending Corporal Punishment in Pakistan held today in Karachi.

Legal Rights Forum (LRF), in collaboration with Sindh Child Protection Authority and the School Education and Literacy Department, organized a Webinar to commemorate International Day to End Corporal Punishment of Children on 30th April, 2021. Webinar was aimed at highlighting the importance of Positive Discipling of children and harms of Corporal Punishment / Physical and Humiliation Punishment.

Mr. Tahir Iqbal Malik CEO-LRF informed the house that LRF is member of The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children which is a unique public-private collaboration that includes United Nations and other child rights international organizations. He shared that LRF is also an active implementing partner of Save the Children International which is a leading humanitarian organization for children having offices worldwide. He welcomed valued presence of all participants.

Ms. Afshan Tehseen Bajwa, Chairperson, National Commission on Rights of Child presented a talk. She appreciated LRF’s spot on initiatives for the rights and protection of children in Pakistan. For the sustainability of actions, she emphasized effective legislation and its true implementation at the ground level. Ms. Bajwa shared the progress made by the NCRC at the national level and she welcomed progressive management of Sindh Government to work together for eliminating all kinds of violations against the children across Pakistan.

Mr. Ghulam Farooq, Director Programmes, Save the Children introduced his organization and its child rights and protection initiatives in Sindh. He appreciated Sindh Government for being progressive and having enacted record legislation in favor of women and children. He remarked that the alarming drop-out rate of children from schools is mainly due to corporal punishment. He stressed on the importance of adopting a positive disciplining approach as it is a teaching and parenting model that strikes a balance between two main considerations: effective teaching on one hand, and respecting the rights of the child on the other hand.

Mr. Asif Abrar, Education Specialist, UNICEF-Pakistan said that Corporal Punishment has been acknowledged by UNICEF and the United Nations Secretary-General’s study on violence against children as the most common form of violence against children.

Mr. Abdul Kabir Kazi Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation appreciated LRF and Save the Children on their initiatives in Sindh. He said that positive disciplining techniques are not only about avoiding corporal punishment and respecting the basic rights of the child; it also provides an educational toolkit aiming at supporting children’s growth, giving them information, allowing them to develop their full potential, and preparing them to become progressive and successful individuals. Say no to Corporal Punishment, it does not work, was concluded by Mr. Kazi.

Ms. Valery Khan, Executive Director, Group Development Pakistan; Dr. Farhana Shahid, Faculty Member, ZABIST; Mr. Irfan Ahmed Awan, MD, SCSPEB; Mr. Miqdad Mehdi, Child Rights Expert from Punjab; Mr. Imran Thakkar, Child Rights Expert from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Ms. Mehwish Hina, Program Officer, LRF also spoke at the event.

Event Report is here