LAHORE: Pahchaan, a local non-government organisation said on Tuesday that all those responsible for the well-being of society had to play an active role in protecting street children against neglect and abuse.
The NGO also said it was planning to open a drop in centre for such children with the help of international sponsors including the European Commission and Groupe Developpement and the organisation End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).
Pahchaan issued a press statement, saying that its seminar called ‘Key Stakeholders’ Role in Protecting Street Children’ convened earlier in the day was primarily aimed at creating awareness among stakeholders including policemen, local governments, legal agencies, and employers to help rehabilitate and rescue street children.
Dr Naeem Zafar, president of Pehchaan, said the NGO was providing several services including food and shelter, skill building courses, hygiene courses, rest and recreation, psycho-social counselling, detoxification and legal protection. Also, the organisation was educating 200 street and working children in the city.
Other speakers discussed the impact of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, their vulnerability to abuse in public and work places such as parks and markets, the need for a system to detect AIDS in children and the need for the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau to register NGOs through a proper criteria.
The role of police and shrines was also highlighted in preventing street children from falling into the hands of drug dealers.