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.
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