SEHER a non Govt organization working for the protection of women and child rights, The children working on the streets and the children being neglected by their parents are vulnerable and being exploited sexually, the school going children bunk their school due to corporal punishment and spend their time on the net cafes, mini cinemas, snooker clubs, and other spots where they are being exploited sexually, while the street working children are also regularly visiting these spots and being exploited,
The child Protection team of SEHER mobilize and provide counseling to these children regarding their protection, the messages for their self-protection are given, they are provided knowledge about their health and the risks they can face, their health and hygiene is one of the focus and if a case of injury of other illness is found the medical care is provided to these children,
Team has organized and empowered community based groups of parents and community members, these groups are taking initiatives to monitor the situation of child protection in their area, and take action with the law enforcing agencies to protect children from abuse and exploitation and they report if any such spot is operating to expose children to the pornographic material. During the quarter 12 such groups were working in the city.
Team has organized groups of children and youth who are providing information to their peers regarding protection from abuse and exploitation, these groups are operating in schools and community, they organize session for children to aware them that how they can protect themselves, 8 such groups were active during the quarter.
Sexual child abuse and exploitation are national problems. Each day, children and females all over the country press down under the burden of human rights violation. In urban spheres of the province Balochistan the problems are worse because of massive influx of urban population having zero awareness of their due rights. The epidemic of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is mounting day by day because of two major silent but devastating facts; 1) Lack of awareness/sensitization among children, parents, media, government and civil society stakeholder. Lack of technical skills to meet financial needs, Unfriendly environment with corporal punishment in schools, many children drops and travel on streets and gradually become part of the commercial sex, the involvement of these children in commercial sexual exploitation is results of lack of awareness/sensitization and also include other factors such inattentiveness of parents, silence from media and other stakeholders to highlight CSEC issue and play their due role majority of children belonging to either rural regions or refugees are compelled and highly expected to contribute significantly to raise the income level of family. Therefore to meet such aggressive expectations of family children specifically boys make their ways to motor garages, bar hotels, mini cinema houses and other places with intentions to earn money to support their families The children who have already been cutoff from the social spheres in addition they bear enormous circumstances of sexual abuse and brutal treatments while working in hotels, motor garages, net café and other red light zones through pimps and agents of commercial trade, which has become an epidemic.
SEHER is a non govt and nonprofit organization working for the protection and empowerment of the vulnerable segment of the society specifically for women, children, minorities and refugees,
Since 2006 SEHER has launched a project IMTIZAJ for the protection, rehabilitation and education of the children victim of commercial sexual exploitation, A child protection center was established to provide food, hygiene, medical, counseling, education, computer literacy, non formal education, skill development, certification from Trade and testing board, job placement to rehabilitate these children.
Parents community committees were formed and strengthened, child association and child friendly spaces were established at community level with support of PCC and volunteers,
- 8 parents community committees were formed and play their role actively
-19 days activism prevention of child abuse.
•3 Child friendly spaces providing educational services and information about self protection to 135 children.
• 12 Child associations working for welfare of children and linking them with other services
•45 Spots Identified
-190 children registered and provided with protection and prevention through education and recovery (physical health, psychosocial counseling, skill development
- 32 Job placement and rehabilitated children working as change makers
SEHER’s first study of Quetta revealed an astonishing fact in the prevailing social setup the boys are more prone to becoming sexually abused than girls. The study also highlighted that mostly the incidences of child abuse take place in the vicinities of Cinemas, video gaming zones and small hotels. The boys who are forced to work by their parents usually become any easy target for the perpetrators to lure them into commercial sexual activities.
The darkest side of the picture is the silence of the society, which gives the perpetrators more room to operate their inhuman activities fearlessly. There are 17 operative spots where children are used as sexual commodities. A rough estimate indicates that a sizeable number of 4000 children in age bracket of 7 to 20 years are involved in sex trade. One of the ill known spots is Baldia plaza which is situated in the very heart of the city. According to some analysis daily 20000 to 250000 people visits this place however the heinous culture of silence has so strongly blindfolded the people that they refuse to see and speak against these inhuman and antisocial activities.
The issue on which all the mega actors including civil society organization, government departments and religious leaders had turned a deaf year; in such as situation SEHER stood alone to take the bull by the horn. In the year 2006 SEHER took a decisive step of taking an initiative against these inhuman and antisocial commercial activities.
SEHER strategically dealt the situation multi-dimensionally. On one hand SEHER started rehabilitation of victimized children through variety of recreational activities and psychosocial counselling and on the other hand started sensitization of key stakeholders that include people belonging to different tiers of the society that directly or indirectly have a link with the life of the children vulnerable to sexual abuse. The focused stakeholders include parents, primary care givers, mentors, community elders, Law Enforcing officials, school teachers and elected representatives.
SEHER initially faced tremendous critical pressure for having touched so sensitive an issue, as most of the people were reluctant to discuss about and it was considered a taboo. The gravity of situation charted another difficult however equally important path of breaking the culture of silence, which in a sense had provided a safe shelter to perpetrators. SEHER kept its consistent endeavours continue for several consecutive years and as a result succeeded in highlighting the issue in different provincial and national forums, in which the issue was comprehensively discussed.
This has been a wonderful year in respect to SEHER’s endeavour of child protection. SEHER made more focused efforts on 119 children. The children underwent different stages of prevention and rehabilitation activities to become a useful member of the society. As most of them were literally unable to read and write, now they have been enabled to not only read and write in national language but also to some extent in English language. They have learned basics of computing and well trained in LSBE to protect themselves from any potentially harmful circumstances.
The children have been relieved from their mental traumas through psychosocial counselling and variety of recreational activities. It has been endeavoured to inculcate positive values into their minds.
In order to reduce the level of their economic dependency they have been provided trainings in vocational skills that have high market demands. 30 children have started earning a reasonable amount from the acquired skills of tailoring and repairing of electronic accessories. 69 children were provided with professional diploma in the skills they have learned.
20 children were empowered as change agents and taken initiatives for child protection in their communities, On the other hand extensive measures have been taken to prevent children from abuse. The Parents community Committees and child associations are fully functional in playing their important roles. Regular coordination meetings have been held with various stakeholders in order to holistically strike on the core issues. The parents and volunteers started four child friendly spaces in their respective areas to support and provided children for their self-protection.
The staff and stakeholders have regularly been provided with vitally needed capacity building trainings and refresher trainings in order to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
Through various advocacy campaigns the issues have been highlighted through media channels, seminars, sensitization workshops and trainings. A 19 days campaign was launch on provincial level on the dangers of information, communication technologies.