PESHAWAR: Despite the claim of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to establish Child Protection Units (CPUs) in all districts of the province, including Chitral, the already established units in 12 districts of the province would become dysfunctional today.
The 12 CPUs across the province would stop working as the provincial government did not provide funds and extended the services of the employees of these units till March 31, 2019, which have been run on the financial support from the Unicef since 2011.
Interestingly, on Jan 28, this year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ghani had claimed that the government would establish child protection units in all districts of the province.
On the other hand, a notice was also issued to employees of the CPUs by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Commission, Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Department on March 12 which stated that duration of the employees’ service was completed on March 31.
Official sources said tha the then chief minister had given approval for the summary of the CPUs in Dec 2017.
They said that after detailed work on the summary it passed through finance and funds had already been approved for the CPUs in the 2018-19 Budget.
Out of Rs20 million approved budget, it said, Rs10 million had been released and 96 posts sanctioned for the CPUs.
However, the sources said that no meeting had been called since last six months under the chairman of the committee, who is Social Welfare minister, and the portfolio rests with the chief minister due to the absence of the minister in the KP cabinet.
The CPUs were established under the KP Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010 in 12 districts of the province with the financial support of the Unicef in 2011.
Last year, Unicef had given March 31, 2018, as the deadline for ending financial support to the CPUs but it was extended for one year with the government demand to take ownership of these units.
The CPUs would become dysfunctional today as the government did not take ownership because the summary about the CPUs is still pending.
As per the progress report of the CPUs, it said that CPUs during its seven years tenure registered over 30,400 cases of children at risk.
It said that the CPUs have successfully disposed of 26,500 cases of various categories, including
early forced marriages, corporal punishments, child labour, violence against children, abuses of
children and child beggars, newborn babies and street children.
As per the Sahil, a non-government organization, working on child rights, 12 cases of child abuses are reported every day in Pakistan.
It said that nine percent increase had been recorded in the child abuses cases since 2017 and three percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.