Category: Protection

Child Protection, SGBV and Persons with Specific Needs

Protection – Overarching

Five crosscutting social protection issues have been identified in all districts and are highlighted here.

Firstly, many refugee children are sent to work by their parents who are often forced into this situation due to extreme poverty. Even those children that do attend school during the day often still have to work in the evening / at night. The parents are generally unaware of the hazards and protection risks child labour presents. Greater advocacy both at national policy level and within communities raising awareness about these risks is required.

Secondly, the identification of child protection, domestic violence, early and forced marriages and SGBV issues are severely constrained by the cultural norms within the Afghan refugee and host communities. As a result these issues are substantially underreported. Advocacy within communities raising awareness about basic human rights is required.

Particularly in relation to SGBV incidents, due to cultural / societal taboos, many refugee SGBV survivors are themselves unwilling or unable to seek external help. Often if they do, they are stigmatised within the community. Furthermore, refugee women often do not perceive violence as an offense against them or a violation of their rights. Rather these acts are often considered by refugee women as a practice to be endured. The promotion of women’s rights within these communities is a clear priority. While most Afghans are not willing to discuss such sensitive topics openly, a way needs to be found to effectively raise awareness of SGBV and women’s health services within the Afghan community.

Thirdly, most communities neglect to include women and children in decision making processes. Greater participation of these two groups would help refugees to build stronger, more inclusive communities. Unfortunately, it has been reported that even the organisations providing these services often lack awareness on the importance of equal opportunities for women, which is reflected in these organisations employing more men than women. General protection oriented trainings are required by partner organisations.

Fourthly, a discriminatory attitude by services providers towards non-Pakistanis attempting to avail their services has been reported in a number of districts. General protection oriented trainings for these service providers would help improve the impartiality and neutrality of these services.

Lastly, discrimination because of disabilities is very prevalent and mental health issues in particular are often not diagnosed. Again, advocacy on these issues within refugee communities is direly needed.

Protection – Abbottabad

In Abbottabad, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

Service providers need to engage directly with urban refugees, particularly women and it is hoped that such greater interaction can help improve the social protection situation within these communities.

Protection – Charsadda

In Charsadda, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

The child protection unit in the social welfare office is active in Charsadda. There are a number of health clinics including private clinics as well as DHQ, THQ, MCH and a number of BHUs. Afghan refugees can generally avail these services, though unregistered Afghan migrants cannot.

Community based “grass roots” organisations would help raise awareness on protection issues and provide some of the required services within the community safety net.

Protection – Haripur

In Haripur, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

For urban refugees, no referral pathways exist to report child protection issues, domestic violence, early and forced marriages or SGBV incidents. As well as cultural restraints, this is also partly due to a lack of community structures and therefore community leadership in Haripur in urban settings.

Urban refugees in Haripur receive very little assistance.

Protection – Islamabad and Rawalpindi

In Islamabad and Rawalpindi, there are limited projects to provide child friendly spaces and projects oriented towards youth and adolescents. These include:

  1. The Community Support Program and the National Volunteer Movement, together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish district volunteer forums and to promote inclusive street sports, especially cricket.
  2. ICMC are running an SGBV prevention project and a livelihood skill development project both specifically for Afghan youth.

Child protection services and support for SGBV survivors in terms of health care, physical safety, legal services and psychosocial services are all provided at public hospitals. These services are available on a walk-in ‘direct’ basis or by referral from partner organisations.

Partner organisations provide support include Aurat Foundation (051-2608956), SAHIL, Bedari, SOS Children Village, SPARC, Rozen and Binet-e-Fatima shelter home. Government support includes the BBcenter, police stations and public hospitals.

ICMC provide refugees with wheel chairs, crutches, hearing aid and collars. Refugees requiring artificial limbs and other prosthetics (except dental treatment) are supported by the ICRC hospital after referral from one of the partners listed above.

Elderly unaccompanied females can be accommodated for food and shelter in Binet-e-Fatema shelter home in Islamabad managed by the Benazir Crisis Centre.

NIRM provide free support to refugees and members of the host population with learning disabilities.

In Islamabad and Rawalpindi, there are also no referral mechanisms for SGBV survivors.

No shelter homes are available for refugee children, even if they are unaccompanied.

Urban refugee populations are scattered mostly without formal community structures. Two populations living in slums on the edge of Islamabad do have community elders as well as a water, sanitation and health committee that meet in schools or medical clinics.

Some specific service providers are as follows:

  • Haque Educational and Welfare Trust, 1st Floor Rafeeq Plaza, Near Car Chowk, Dhoke Chaudrian, Chaklala, Rawalpindi 46000 Pakistan. Telephone: +92-(0)300-5259660
  • Change in Education, 454, Street No. 16, Chaklala Scheme-III, Rawalpindi, Pakistan-46000. Telephone +92 51 550 5866 / 559 8004 (illiteracy programs for adults)
  • Ray of Hope (Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center) 2007 H#1, St#1, Hill View Lane, Adyala Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan-46000. Telephone: +92-51-5813297 / 0333 3887773. “Working to create a drug free society”
  • REDO- Rawalpindi Eye Donors Organization, 1977, Behind Naz Cinema, Murree Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Telephone: +92-51-5503233
  • SOS Children’s Villages Pakistan, Opposite High Court – G.T. Road, P.O.Box 1379, Rawalpindi. Telephone: +92-051-4490510. “Health and educational facilities for the deprived”.
  • RAHMA Islamic Relief, 314, Poonch House Complex, Adamjee Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Telephone: +92-051-5513117
  • Thali, 60-C, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi 46300, Pakistan. Telephone: +92-(0)333-5710076 / +92-(0)342-5334817. “Provides free and subsidized food to those below the poverty line”.
  • Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi , EDO (Education) Office Complex, Main Murree Road, Near Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi
  • Batool Welfare Trust, Office # B-4, First Floor, Al-Sheikh Plaza, Chandni Chowk, Murree Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Telephone: +92-51-4420197. “Educating orphans, women and children in poor areas.”
  • Health Education and Resource development (HEARD) Welfare Foundation, Al-Syed Medical Center, Dhoke Chaudrian Bosatn Road, Chaklala Scheme III, Rawalpindi. Telephone: +92-51-5508129.

Protection – Karachi

In Karachi, surprisingly given the size of the city, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

Public hospitals provide health care, physical safety and psychosocial services for children and SGBV survivors. Direct referrals and referral by partner organisations exist and are utilised.

Persons in need of artificial limbs and other required prosthetics (except dental) can avail support from the Pakistan Disability Association through established referral mechanisms.

Elderly unaccompanied females can be accommodated for food and shelter homes like the Panah shelter.

Key issues are:

  • Discriminatory attitude by services providers towards non-Pakistanis attempting to avail their services.
  • At the community level, no support or referral mechanisms are available to protect the most vulnerable individuals in these communities.

The follow points require follow up:

  • Advocacy is required with all service providers, especially the Government Welfare Department, to improve awareness of the importance of supporting the most vulnerable individuals in communities on an impartial and neutral humanitarian basis (i.e. without consideration of ethnicity, religion, tribe or nationality).
  • Implementation of sustainable community support mechanisms to enhance community capacity building by UNHCR, government counterparts and partner organisations.

Protection – Kohat

In Kohat, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

The government run child protection unit, in coordination with UNHCR, is active in Kohat although there are reported to be gaps in coordination resulting in weak and ineffective referral mechanisms ultimately leading to the most vulnerable members of these communities being neglected.

Nevertheless, services are available for people with disabilities including education and Dost Welfare Organisation is particularly active.

However much needed equipment is not available including wheelchairs for those with disabilities and hearing aids for the elderly.

Protection – Lahore

In Lahore, surprisingly given the size of the city, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

Child protection services are provided by the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (Anguri Bagh Scheme, Shalamar Link Road, Lahore, Telephone: 092-42-9250275 or 9250276).

Child protection services in Lahore are limited for refugees and include legal assistance from SHARP and the Police and medical assistance in Public Hospitals.

Refugee children have no access to government child protection institutes due to the policy of the provincial government to restrict these services only to local children. There are similar issues with refugee children having difficulties accessing local schools.

The most commonly arising health issues arising from people with specific needs are the treatment of Hepatitis C (see the health post for more information).

Protection – Mansehra

In Mansehra, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

For urban refugees, no referral pathways exist to report child protection issues, domestic violence, early and forced marriages or SGBV incidents. As well as cultural restraints, this is also partly due to a lack of community structures and therefore community leadership in Mansehra in urban settings.

Urban refugees in Mansehra receive very little assistance although there is much interest within these communities to participate in various skill development programs etc.

Protection – Mardan

In Mardan, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

Several health centres are available to provide medical support for SGBV survivors and child protection cases. These include CPWS, DHQ and rural health centres and clinics.

Protection – Mirpur

In Mirpur, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

The available child protection, SGBV services, referral mechanisms and facilities for people with specific needs are extremely limited. Individuals requiring medical support can attend one of the public hospitals, and for more serious issues can lodge complaints and issues at the police stations. No sustainable community support mechanisms are in place.

Protection – Nowshera

In Nowshera, there are no specific child friendly spaces and no known projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth.

The child protection unit of the child welfare commission is active in identifying and resolving child protection issues regardless of the children’s nationality or area of origin.

Committees of adolescents have been formed by the child protection unit in government schools. Sessions have included body protection awareness.

Direct intervention on the legal issues of children are investigated by child protection officers and lawyers within the child protection unit. A budget of 40,000 PKR per month is made available to fulfil the needs of children requiring protection related assistance.

A strong referral mechanism has been developed with government departments and national and international organizations. The referral mechanism is encapsulated in a binding memorandum of understanding which has been signed by all government departments.

In Nowshera, the Deputy Commissioner provides oversight for child protection cases including:

  1. Ensure children including orphans, street children, out-of-school and children involved in child labour are going to schools.
  2. Reunification of separated, unaccompanied and run away children with their parents / guardians.
  3. Rehabilitation and psychosocial support of children with disabilities, drug addiction or who have experienced traumatic situations.
  4. Resolve legal issues e.g. child marriage, juvenile injustice, violence, abuse, birth registration etc.
  5. Investigate and resolve other child protection issues e.g. corporal punishment, trafficking and kidnapping.

Funding remains tight for all organisations involved in child protection activities in Nowshera.

Protection – Peshawar

In Peshawar, the Child Welfare Commission (GoP) has established one child friendly space. Given the number of refugees in Peshawar, there have been surprisingly few projects oriented towards adolescents and youth.

SACH, SHARP and DRC provide counselling for SGBV survivors and a protection referral network is active in Peshawar.

There are many social protection providers in Peshawar, including the following organisations:

  • Noor Education Trust (NET),
  • Halfway shelter home (a project of Ministry of Social Welfare and Women Development),
  • Pakistan Red Crescent Society,
  • United Rural Development Organization (URDO),
  • Salik Development Foundation (SDF),
  • Human Resource Organization (HRO),
  • Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan,
  • De Laas Gul (DLG),
  • Human Concern International (HCI),
  • Fatimid Foundation,
  • DOST Foundation,
  • Khyber Eye Foundation (KEF),
  • PIPOS-Patient Care Centre, Phase V, Hayatabad, Peshawar. Telephone: 091-9217150 (Artificial Limb centre, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar),
  • RCPD, Peshawar, Umeed Abad No. 2, Swati Gate, Peshawar, Pakistan (P.O. Box 201). Telephone: +92-91-5252618 / +92-91-5252618,
  • Network for Human & Social Development (NHSD),
  • International Medical Corps (IMC),
  • Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP),
  • BPDO,
  • Health sector Reforms Unit, KP,
  • Provincial MNCH Program,
  • Centre of Excellence for Rural Development CERD,
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC),
  • Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN),
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC),
  • Resource Organization for Advancement & Development (ROAD),
  • Participatory Village Development Programme (PVDP),
  • United Nation population Fund (UNFPA),
  • Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP),
  • Child welfare Commission (CPWC),
  • FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA),
  • World Food Programme (WFP),
  • Islamic Relief (IR),
  • Merlin,
  • Youth Resource Centre (YRC),
  • The Education Health Social Awareness’ and Rehabilitation Foundation (EHSAR),
  • Justice Peace Initiative,
  • Peace and Development Organization (PADO),
  • Tribal Women Welfare Association,
  • De Laas Gul (DLG),
  • Khwendo Kor (KK),
  • Aurat Foundation (AF),
  • Shirat Gah,
  • Blue Veins,
  • Association for Behaviour and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT),
  • Khpal Kor Foundation (KKF) Swat-shelter home,
  • The Hawa Loor,
  • Special Education Complex,
  • Aware Girl Organization,
  • Pak Khyber Welfare Organization,
  • Poverty Eradication Initiative,
  • Community Motivation Development Organization (CMDO),
  • Government Institute for Blind (boys),
  • Just Peace International (JPI),
  • Hamza Foundation Peshawar,
  • Awan Raza Khalil Firm,
  • Tanzeem Lisail Walmehroom,
  • Women Crisis Center,
  • Mary Stopes Society

Constructive improvements in Peshawar include:

  1. Creating an education facility and livelihoods opportunities for refugees with specific needs.
  2. Greater involvement and empowerment of refugees with specific needs in community activities
  3. As noted in the section on livelihoods, skills trainings, general capacity building and support for youths and small business startups via business loans would all benefit people with disabilities in these communities.

Protection – Quetta

In Quetta, there are a number of projects to provide child friendly spaces and projects orient towards youth and adolescents. These include:

  1. WESS is running a child labour prevention project with drop-in centres for adolescents and children.
  2. Society for Community Development is implementing a project for adolescents and children which includes the creation of several child friendly spaces in Quetta.
  3. CRS is implementing an education and child protection project where children are given awareness sessions in child friendly spaces in community based centres.
  4. Save the Children in 2014 established some 60 children’s clubs in government schools and provided training on disaster risk reduction as well as provision of wheel chairs for disabled children.
  5. In 2015, Save the Children secured funds to provide technical vocational training to some 600 Afghan youths. This project also included the provision of 300 small grants (one-time assistance) to Afghan youths to establish businesses.

Services available for child protection and SGBV survivors include the following:

  1. A shelter home, Darul Aman, managed by the Directorate of Social Welfare provides shelter to SGBV survivors on a long term basis.
  2. Benazir shelter home managed by the Women Development Department provides temporary shelter to women.
  3. SEHER provide legal services, psychosocial counselling and livelihoods skill trainings to SGBV survivors.
  4. Taraqee Foundation provides medical assistance and support to the SGBV survivors.
  5. DANESH provide psychosocial assistance, livelihood support, and support through community based interventions to the SGBV survivors.
  6. CRS is running a project to provide psychosocial counselling for refugee women while those requiring legal assistance are facilitated through the ILAC/ALAC centres managed by CRS and currently operated by IDO.
  7. DANESH has also established child friendly desks at 10 police stations in Quetta for reporting child sexual abuse and violence cases for legal intervention. Those cases requiring medical care are referred to the relevant providers.
  8. DANESH has also established child sexual abuse care units at the government, civil and BMC hospitals to provide impartial and neutral medical services and care to the referred cases of child sexual abuse without any discrimination based on gender or nationality.

Services available for people with specific needs include:

  1. DANESH run a protection monitoring project which includes assistance to persons with specific needs such as people with disabilities.
  2. Directorate of Social Welfare provides services for drug rehabilitation as well as fitting prosthetic limbs support for persons with disabilities.
  3. Legend society is also providing services for drug rehabilitation including testing and counselling for HIV/ AIDS.
  4. BRDRS is implementing a project on raising awareness and prevention of HIV / AIDS.
  5. DANESH together with the Milo Shaheed Trust run a project referring drug addicts to the relevant health providers, irrespective of whether they are Afghan or Pakistani. Unfortunately, to qualify for this project, Afghan PoR cardholders have to attend a court hearing. This project is only implemented in specific localities in Quetta.

While the list above looks relatively comprehensive, given the number of refugees in Quetta, these projects are often considerably over subscribed / under resourced.

Specifically with the shelter homes, many SGBV survivors do not opt to stay in this accommodation due to a complex and overly bureaucratic inclusion process and also that the accommodation is often unlikely to be a sustainable solution.

Protection – Swabi

In Swabi, there are no specific child friendly spaces. There have been a small number of projects with activities oriented towards adolescents and youth. This includes technical training for youth in Swabi, initiated in 2012 by Blue Veins within the RAHA programme.

A child protection working group is operational in Swabi.

The department of social welfare manages six vocational centres for persons with disabilities. The department also assists senior citizens by providing them 6,000 PKR per month.