GILGIT: (PR) A seminar on “Awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse in schools” was conducted by HRCP GB in connection with the universal children day. The seminar was addressed by Mr. Aziz Ali Dad, a reknowned social scientist, researcher and writer, Ms. Shahana Shah, social activist and researcher, Mr. Irshad Kazmi, Chairman Vision welfare association and human rights activist and Mr. Muhammad Hussain, social activist.
Participants were included students and teachers from different schools, lawyers, journalists, social workers, human rights activists and representatives of civil society.
Mr. Israruddin Israr was moderator of seminar. After the introduction of participants he shared the aims and objectives of seminar and introduced the topic. He also shared the basic information regarding the topic. He said “Some topics are taboo in our society while these topics need more attention. We don’t talk on such social evils which affect the society in general and sabotage the moral and humanitarian values. We have selected such a topic which is considered a taboo whereas it ruins the lives of our new generation. I hope by this activity we will be able to generate a debate on this menace so that people will think on its way forward”
Mr. Aziz Ali Dad elaborated the topic in the context of Gilgit Baltistan and emphasized on awareness raising campaign in schools on sexual abuse. He discussed the common psyche of Gilgit Baltistan’s society regarding child sexual abuse. He lamented on the male dominated and so called religious society which don’t condemn the child sexual abuse unequivocally. He said “We don’t impart education to our children in schools about the social ethos. Children and women are not well aware about the brutality of male family members who act like callous outside of their homes. The tribal, feudal and male dominated society considers an abuser a hero while victim is characterized a malicious person. There is a fault in our basic education system. If we want to build a civilized society we will have to focus on ethical education at ECD level. He gave the example of japan where the primary level education has only focus on language development and social ethos”. Ms. Shahana Shah shed light on the definition of child sexual abuse. She shared nationwide and worldwide facts and figures, research studies, causes, effects and way forward of the nuisance of child sexual abuse. She also highlighted the characteristics of patriarchal society. She said “Although all children are vulnerable but the orphan and abandon children are more vulnerable as she has been working on the rights of such children for last many years in Gilgit Baltistan”. Muhammad Hussain highlighted the importance of peer education and parenting skills. He also emphasized on the importance of education regarding social skills and character building of society. Mr. Irshad Kazmi while representing persons with disabilities shared the case studies of child sexual abuse and vulnerability of children with disabilities for sexual abuse and every kind of victimization.
The forum was later on opened for the discussion after key note speeches. Participants shared their views, comments and suggestions during the discussion. The participants urged the Govt. to take necessary steps for prevention of child sexual abuse in Gilgit Baltistan. Participants also emphasized on inclusion of topic re safety of children in curriculum at primary level education. Meanwhile the panelists answered the questions raised by students and other participants in question answer session. At the conclusion of seminar a resolution was also passed by the participants and handed over it to Mr. Mujahid Ali Shah, director child rights commission Govt. of GB, who was one of the participants of seminar. The copies of resolution were also sent to all stake holders.