A total of 15 children begging on the roads in Rawalpindi were rescued by the Rawalpindi Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB) last week. Of these, nine children were returned to their parents.
According to the CPWB District Officer, children found begging on roads are taken into custody by the bureau’s rescue teams, which regularly visit all city areas along with the police including Saddar, Chur Chowk, the Dawoo Bus Stand area, Pirwadhai, Faizabad, Murree Road, the Airport area, Chaklala and other areas.
He said that children taken into custody are presented in Child Protection Court. The family tracing unit of the bureau works to find the parents of such children. Once traced, the parents are required to sign an affidavit that the child will not be made to beg and can then take custody of the child.
People wanting to report such children on the streets can do so by calling the child protection helpline at 1121, the official said. He added that since the department started working, it has returned around 6,500 runaway children to their parents.
He said that the establishment of a Child Protection Commission is under consideration, and if made it would help in tracing and caring for lost children more effectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.
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