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Child Protection Services Offered By CP&WB For Rehabilitation and Successful Integration
The study is about Child Protection Services offered by Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CP&WB) for rehabilitation and successful integration. Child abuse, neglect and violence may seem like a thing of the past. In developed countries like the United States, England and in third world African countries such problems are still present. The research was conducted at CP&WB in Bahawalpur. It aimed at studying the role of bureau in providing facilities to the children for successful integration in the society. The research methodology was explanatory, and interviews and observation were used for data collection. It was found that the bureau rescued children from streets and provided them with basic needs. Their record was kept by the Child Protection Office (CPO). It was further found that the children were provided with formal and skill-based education enabling them to earn and become productive part of society.
Child Protection, Child Rights, Child Violence, Child Abuse, Child Integration
Everyone in our surrounding is in a quest for survival. Like every species on earth, survival for human species is possible through their offspring. Civilizations, Empires and Nations live through their off springs. In the life they live, the stories they write and the tales they tell. Children are the most cherished gifts in any culture or society of the world. The contemporary world is accelerating towards introduction of reforms in societies for a better life. The reforms aim at the provision of basic human needs like food, clothing and shelter. Often times these reforms are aimed at specific institutions of the society like economic reforms or age based reforms like Rights for Children or Rights of Women and Rights of the Labor class.
Human history is filled with both exotic and terrifying tales of human actions. Where there are stories of great conquests there are tales of mass murders, loot and human trafficking. Often the point around which the story revolves is children. The children were subjected to ‘infanticide, physical abuse, emotional and sexual abuse’ as discussed in (Sari & Büyükünal, 1991). As noted ‘in contradiction to calm life of the past, childhood was filled with terror and abuse and it is only a recent development that adequate parenting was adopted’ (Mause, 2007).
Child abuse is global phenomenon. It is found in developed as well as developing countries. Their causes in societies can be different but nonetheless they are prevalent. Children are assaulted in schools in their social spheres by their peer groups, by their parents at home and in some cases by the landlords if they are working in such environment. An international study claimed that ‘43%, 18%, 42% and 33% of the children in Moldova, Macedonia, Lithuania and Latavia are subject to child abuse’(Sabre, et al., 2004). Even in countries like the United States child abuse and child neglect is a prevalent issue. ‘Child abuse and neglect are some of the major problems faced by the children in the United States as compared to other childhood problems’ (National Research Council, 1993). Also noted in Caitlin, et al., (2017) ‘maltreatment of children still remain an issue in the States and face health neglects and individual poverty’.
Often so the second name among the world leaders is the United Kingdom (UK). Children in UK also face physical violence and neglect. In the United Kingdom the term “Child Abuse” is referred to as “Child Maltreatment”. Child maltreatment can be ‘the harm to a child in the form of physical assault, sexual and psychological abuse’ (May-Chahal, 2000). A study conducted in August, 2011 in United Kingdom by National Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Children (NSPCC) found that ‘5.9% of children under the age of 11 were subjected to maltreatment. 18.6% of children from the age of 11 to 17 and 25.3% of children from 18 to 24 were subject to maltreatment in one way or another’(NSPCC, 2011).
In 1946 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) created the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to provide food and healthcare to the children devastated by World War II (WWII). In 1950 the organizations mandate was extended and the organization would now care for the needs of women and children in developing countries. Later in 1953, the organization became a permanent part of the United Nations. UNICEF currently carries out its work in 192 countries and is headquartered in New York and is one of the primary childcare and child rights organization (UNICEF, 2017).
According to a recent report from UNICEF, ‘4.2 million children are in need treatment for malnutrition, 10.3 million need vaccination against measles, 42.8 million lack the access to safe drinking water, 4 million need caregivers, 10.1 million children need access to basic education worldwide’ (UNICEF, 2017). For this in 2018, UNICEF ‘reached out to 3.1 million children. These children needed caregivers, mental and psychological support’ (ibid).
In terms of data, Asia has been a turbulent and a hard region. An insufficient amount of data analyse different studies a gruesome task. This is specifically observed in the case of researches addressing child maltreatment. ‘Since the year 2000 many governmental and non-governmental agencies have been working with multitude of companies and diverse groups of people to get an accurate picture of the phenomena in the region’ (Dunne, et al., 2015). The same paper reported that ‘no country in the Asian region has a negligible amount of child maltreatment. There are clear signs of emotional, physical, sexual abuse and parental neglect’ (ibid).
UNICEF (2019) reported that in ‘2018 thousands of Rohingya in Bangladesh fled from Myanmar and UNICEF provided aid to about 160,000 children’. The same report said in the case of conflicts in Afghanistan that “3.8 million” children will need care in wake of the recent natural disasters, violence, droughts and other such calamities.
Pakistan is a multicultural and multi ethnic society. People, their practices, their perceptions and outlook on world and life is as varied as the geography of the country. In almost every community of Pakistan, children face problems growing up. Pakistani children face child labor, child abuse and neglect, child trafficking and evils of the sort.
Children in Pakistan are prone to child labor, child trafficking, physical and sexual abuse, and neglect of parents. According to UNICEF, only 34% of children are registered at birth. A comprehensive report prepared by UN committee on the Rights of the Children (CRC) reported that the legislation on child rights was not yet fully synchronized with the state law and was not completely enacted. The report further raised concerns over the state of children in Pakistan regarding “right to life” especially in the regions of conflict (CRC, 2009).
Children in Pakistan also face corporal punishment at schools. The figures record that both teachers as well as parents agree that some amount of corporal punishment is necessary. 20 % of the teachers and 41 % of parents agreed to this. There are children deprived from family environment, 84% of children below the age of 15 live with both parents but 2% of these do not have their biological parents with them. Institutions existing that provide alternative healthcare are inadequate in both quality and quantity (UNICEF, 2015). The same report goes on to note numerous forms of encroachment on child rights all over Pakistan.
To cater to the needs of children and the protection of child rights bureaus were erected like the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CP&WB). They provide both the environment and resources to help the children in their material and non-material needs.
Review of Literature
Scheper-Hughes, an anthropologist who worked in the shanty towns of Brazil for over 25 years. There in the poverty filled area mothers would often abandon or kill their newborns or infants as they became a problem for their own survival. In conditions where the survival of mother is in question the life of the child is in danger. In such a state there was no sign of emotions like fear or sorrow (Hughes, 1992). This is to say that in conditions of poverty the survival of everyone is at stake. In such conditions there can be no surety of survival between anyone. Child abuse, child neglect, child mortality, child violence rates are often high in areas with high poverty rates. An article published in “Agenda” clearly notes that there is a relation between poverty and child abuse.
Stanley and Humphreys (2006) discuss the theory of Social Learning by Albert Bandura. They note that to Bandura humans and specifically children learn through their ‘social setting’. Adopting a positivist notion that knowledge is gained through the five senses, he discusses that learning is dependent on the children’s social setting. Their learned behavior is dependent upon their peer group and family.
The learned behavior of children in their groups can be of two types. These can be either positive or neagative. Almost all activities are learned by the children through their social settings. Knowledge is gained and shared through the social setting acting as medium for learning.
Similar work is done by Rudolph Steiner, who is cited by Curtis & O'Hagan (2003) saying that child development depends upon ‘education’. He divides child’s development in three phases. These phases are Zero to seven years, seven to fourteen years and also fourteen years onwards. Coming parallel to Plato’s Republic, he says that socialization and education can shape up the individual. Steiner says that a balanced curriculum shapes up the children to a positive lifestyle. Curriculum aims to provide the skills to the children and with it they develop the thinking, feeling and willing instincts into the children.’ If children achieve the right environment, it also has effects on the wellbeing of children.
Material and Methods
The methodology of the study was Explanatory. Explanatory research methodology is a deep inquiry methodology. It answers how and why’s of the research topic under study. The methodology allows the researcher to probe existing variables and note variables that may be influential in the study.
For data collection, interview guides were administered.
The study was conducted in Bahawalpur in Punjab province of Pakistan. According to one of the reports of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Bahawalpur consists of six tehsils that are Ahmedpur East, Bahawalpur City, Bahawalpur Saddar, Hasilpur, Khairpur Tamewali, Yazman’ (Pakistan Bureau of Statistic, 2014).
Twenty three staff members at the bureau were interviewed to collect relevant data. These were the child rescue team members, teachers, child psychologist, cook and the guards.
The research objective was to study the Child Protection Sources offered by CP&WB for Rehabilitation and Successful Integration. The CP&WB in Bahawalpur was home to about 40 children in total. Some of them had been brought in by their parents while others were rescued by the Bureau. The designated staff at the bureau includes Care Takers, Child Attendants, Teacher, Driver, Gardner, Cook, Driver and Sweeper. The number of children had fallen from 83 to 40. Some of the children were taken back by their parents or guardians while others could not adjust in the bureau setting and ran off. The children in the bureau aged from 6 to 18 years. The operations of the bureau were as follows:
Rescuing the Child
There is helpline to contact the bureau. People inform the bureau of children in need of care. The Child Protection Officer (CPO) dispatches a rescue team. An infant is not kept at the bureau in Bahawalpur and is transferred to the main branch in Lahore. The team includes a drives and a child attendant. The bureau had three child attendants who were dispatched on separate missions. At the same time local police were informed and the team was joined by two duty officers on the rescue. Government officials at Lahore were also informed of the rescue and the record of these was kept by the CPO. The researcher inquired about the rescue records, it was found that record was kept for five years and then disposed. The bureau is responsible of the care of children till the age of 18. After the children reach the age of 18, the children are to leave the facility and join society.
Rescuing a Girl
CP&WB provides care to male children only. In case the rescue team finds a girl, Dar ul Itfal is contacted. The reason for this is the unavailability of female staff at the bureau. The bureau can only care for male children.
Facilities at the Bureau
The facility provides food, shelter, clothing and education (both religious and academic). Food was prepared by the cook and was often aided by the teacher. He cooked according to the set schedule of the bureau. School in the bureau provides education to the fifth standard but is not registered with any board. Currently, most of the students are studying in nursery. All the newly admitted children are enrolled in nursery to get the basic education and learn the functioning of bureau. Bureau also has an examination system to gauge the progress of children. Examination schedule was prepared by CP&WB at Lahore and was also responsible for checking the papers and announcing results.
Newcomers usually found it difficult to adjust themselves in the bureau environment. They are nor free to move around as they would on the street but have to follow a set schedule. There are restrictions on activities like smoking to condemn such behavior and transform the children living style. To reform the child’s lifestyle the bureau follows up on routine. Often in such circumstances, the children are in need of counsel. For this the bureau has a psychologist. This helps the children get situated in the bureau setting and lifestyle. She also develops among the children social and moral values.
The psychologist has counseling sessions with the children. Every child meets with her separately. The sessions can go from 10 minutes to an hour. She listens to their problems and provides the answers that may help them in social integration. She is responsible to look out on the mental health of children in the facility. Often after a session, the child is given a treat to develop a friendly relation and earn his trust.
To filter out the negative behavior of children, the staff involves them in various activities. The children are involved in various sports like cricket, football and board games. They have art competitions and are allowed to watch television. The bureau by involving them in various activities tries to reform and amend their life. The bureau also provides skill based education in order for the children to be able to earn a living and become a part of the society. So far there are only two boys of age 18 and 17 and a half who are studying in class 5. They are being trained as tailors for when they are free from the facility they can earn their own food and become useful members of the society.
The data gathered from the personnel working at the bureau shows that regarding change or removal in negative attitude was done in two ways. Primarily the bureau relied on having a measured routine. Which meant that the children had to follow a routine during their day. This included attending classes, going for prayers, participating in sports and other activities. Often the child attendants were tasked with keeping an eye over such children to keep them from habits like smoking.
Another method that was used in the bureau was individual psychological assessment. A psychologist was present at the bureau to conduct counseling sessions with the children. She had transferred from the bureau where the study was conducted to Lahore at the head office. In her place a CPI was now conducting these sessions. This method however was not given a priority.
The primary and the major task for the bureau was to successfully integrate such children back in the society. At the age of 18 the children were no more responsibility of the bureau. Which meant that they had to leave and find a new home. For this the bureau provided education. Education included both academic and religious education but from these a third branch was drawn. As previously noted, two children were learning tailoring in order for them to earn a living and integrate back with society. The views of the staff regarding education were that basic academic education will help them enter the job market and skill based education can help them make opportunities for themselves.
* Statistics were calculated in IBM SPSS.
**The tables for these are given in annexes I and II respectively.
Established a year ago the CP&WB Bahawalpur is home to 45 children. Most of them aged between 6 to 18 years. The institute aims to rescue children from the streets and provide them with basic needs of life and cannot be used in activities like human trafficking, child labor and begging etc.