25,000 street children vulnerable to diseases
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
By our correspondent
The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the occasion of the International Health Day organised a rally on Monday near the Mochi More, Korangi, urging the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to protect the increasing number of street children in the city from diseases and different forms of exploitation.
The walk organised by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) and Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association (PAVHNA) titled “Every child has a right to good health” was largely attended by the street children, child activists, students and teachers.
They urged the government to create awareness on HIV and Aids and other sex related diseases to save street children.
Speakers said more than 25,000 children were living on streets in the city. They said there were some 70,000 children living on the streets in the country. An estimated 7,000 children live on the streets in Lahore, 10,000 in Faisalabad, 2,500 in Quetta, 3,000 in Rawalpindi and 5,000 in Peshawar.
Nazra Jahan of Sparc said street children were one of the most vulnerable groups for all forms of exploitation. They were at high risk of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS because of their early exposure to both heterosexual and homosexual practices.
Co-ordinator PAVHNA Ms Munizha said they were addressing the vulnerabilities of street children in the targeted areas. PAVHNA had set-up five drop-in centres (DICs) in Karachi, through which it provided information on better life skills to the street children.