Speakers urge govt to ensure free education

F.P. Report
PESHAWAR: FNF Pakistan organized a training workshop on the prevention of child abuse for relevant stakeholders in Peshawar.
The workshop had 30 participants from Peshawar and nearby districts, including teachers, journalists, social workers, lawyers, students, and representatives from other relevant departments.
The workshop was attended by FNF Pakistan’s Head of Program, Muhammad Anwar, child rights expert Imran Takkar, and peshawar based senior journalist Shamim Shahid.
Imran Takkar briefed the participants on different aspects of child abuse and emphasized the need to build synergy for the cause.
He highlighted that in 2022, 4253 cases of sexual abuse of children were reported, indicating that 12 children become victims of sexual abuse every day, marking a 30% increase compared to 2021.
Imran Takkar added that child abuse often leads to various psychological problems, causing victims to grow up fearful and experience mental health issues.
During the event, Muhammad Anwar, FNF Pakistan’s Head of Program, stated that symptoms of sexual abuse include frightening behaviors such as nightmares, depression, abnormal fear, attempts to run away, and the development of extremely inappropriate sexual behavior for the child’s age.
He pointed out that 50% of child abuse victims are acquainted with their abusers, and abusers can come from any class, caste, religion, or ethnic group, emphasizing that they cannot be classified into a single type or category. The abuser can be a man, woman, child, acquaintance of the child, or a complete stranger.
Senior journalist Shamim Shahid said that the root of all the children related issues is the enormous increase in population and political instability in the country, due to which economic problems arise and parents send their children to work instead of education. He said that the primary responsibility of promoting and protecting the rights of children is the state. After the 18th amendment in the country, according to the constitution, every child should be in school from 5 to 16 years, yet 2 crore children of school age do not go to school, of which about 1 crore are in child labor.
Shamim Shahid said that laws were made for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country, but their implementation has always been a question mark.
He said that child labor is increasing day by day due to the economic situation in the country. In order to reduce this, there is an urgent need for all partners to work together. He further said that if we want to eliminate child labor from the country, provision of free and compulsory education to all children from 5 to 16 years will be ensured.