ISLAMABAD: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) on Saturday launched a nationwide Child Protection Campaign to sensitise general public through training on issues of child protection, children’s rights and ways to ensure security of children.
“BISP offers its platform to all celebrities, organisations and institutions to work for the cause of child protection,” said BISP Chairperson MNA Marvi Memon while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the campaign on Saturday.
The campaign was simultaneously launched in 40 districts across the country by BISP officials and parliamentarians, who will advance the campaign in their constituencies.
“On behalf of the federal government, BISP has initiated this campaign for the safety of our children,” she said. “In the next step, these trainings will be imparted to 60,000 BISP Beneficiary Committees across the country for raising mass-level awareness of the subject.”
BISP has set up a hotline 0800-26477 as part of this campaign to receive complaints of child abuse and forwarding them to relevant agencies for action, she added.
Taking over the dais, BISP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan said that besides various initiatives for the welfare of beneficiaries, BISP has launched this campaign to sensitise parents and children through training on the issue of child protection as “kids are the future of every nation”.
He explained in detail the precautions parents should take for the safety of their children.
Taking over, artist Faisal Qureshi said that saving children from any abuse is the prime responsibility of parents.
He suggested that besides seeking assistance from the government and law enforcement agencies, mothers in every community should make committees and take up matters of child abuse with the elders of the community to overcome this problem.
Artist Hassan Soomro said, “It is necessary that children should be aware of their body parts. There must be a compulsory subject in schools on this issue.”
He informed that in Sindh, this subject would be made compulsory from April 2018 and the same should be done in rest of the country.
Another artist, Sabahat Riaz, said, “The country has child protection laws, but there is a need to create awareness about these laws and procedures.”
She explained legal procedures that should be adopted by parents to get help in case of child abuse.
During the event, BISP beneficiary women and children were sensitised through training on issues of child protection, children’s rights and ways to ensure security of children through video documentaries, IEC (Information, Education and Communication) material; and animated and illustrative messaging.
Different aspects of child protection, roles of parents, teachers, leaders, government, responsible members of society and legal procedures regarding child protection were discussed.
Children were also trained on how to “shout, run and inform parents” in case of any kind of abuse.