Expert Group Meeting Standardizing and Improving Existing Response Services for Survivors of Gender-based Violence

Lahore, 11 February 2020: Dastak Charitable Trust convened a gathering of experts and decision makers to critically discuss and agree on formal linkages that must be established with and between service providers to bring efficiency and consistency in response to GBV survivors, improve quality of service delivery and strengthen interagency coordination across government and non-government sectors.

EGM was attended was attended by Parliamentarians, officials from the Police Department, Social Welfare Department, Health Department, Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Justice System Support Program Team Lead, and Human Rights of Commission of Pakistan.

Drama and Music Therapy Workshop for Children in Faisalabad Central Jail

January 11 and 13 2020: Dastak CRU conducted a two-day therapy workshop for the juvenile prisoners in Central Jail Faisalabad in collaboration with Ajoka Theatre  on January 11 and 13, 2020.

This workshop aimed at supplementing Dastak’s ongoing Education Program for Children in Prisons that focuses on life skills and social behavior. The purpose of this workshop was to support the reformative process of juvenile prisoners and provide them avenues to channel their energies in a positive direction.  Specific objectives of this workshop included:

  • Support the reformative process of juvenile prisoners
  • Provide them avenues to channel their energies in a positive direction
  • Encouraging positive relationships between inmates and with family after release
  • Reduce social isolation after release
  • Increase self-expression and self-confidence
  • Minimize hostile and disruptive behavior

A total of 31 under trial juvenile prisoners participated in the workshop. The workshop comprised of a series of singing exercises including poetry and humor, movement exercises and games including movement with rhythm and music, theatrical Improvisations, group-based games, story-telling including sharing personal histories and developing a story as a group and innovative creative exercises to explore talent and appreciate beauty and nature.

Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Juvenile Prisoners Standards Assessment Workshop

16 October 2019 : Bahawalpur: Dastak Child Rights Unit organized a assessment workshop with prison staff of Bahawalpur Borstal and Juvenile Institute. The purpose of the workshop was to assess if the Bahawalpur prison meets the international and national standards for treatment of juvenile prisoners. The workshop was conducted by Advocate Sabahat Riaz from Dastak and was attended by 20 prison staff members including the Deputy Superintendant, Assistant Superintendant, Head Warders and Warders. The workshop comprised of a detailed presentation on the international and national standards to be followed by juvenile prison facilities and was followed by a discussion with the participants to evaluate the extent to which the prison follows the shared standards. This workshop was a part of Dastak’s initiative to develop one juvenile facility as a model prison in terms of meeting national and international standards set for the treatment of children in prison.

Game Show for Juveniles in Bahawalpur Juvenile Facility

On May 2, Dastak organized a game show event for juveniles prisoners in Bahawalpur Borstal and Juvenile Institute. This was part of the Education for Children. The game show comprised of five rounds of general knowledge questions, solving puzzles and physical games. 61 children participated in the games and won a number of prizes such as sports items, indoor games.and snacks. Dastak team created a temporary game show set inside the prison facility to make it authentic and more enjoyable for the children. No photographs could be taken as it is prohibited in the prison.

Dastak staff and its beneficiaries participated in the 2nd Annual Aurat Azadi March held in Lahore.

8 March 2019: To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, Dastak staff and its beneficiaries participated in the 2nd Annual Aurat Azadi March held in Lahore.

Child Protection Agenda – Follow-Up Meetings Parliamentarians Briefing

February 01, 2019: Dastak CRU convened a parliamentarians briefing to discuss and follow up on the status of child protection legislative agenda. The objective was to bring together a group of newly sworn in national and provincial parliamentarians and Child Rights Movement (CRM) members to discuss pertinent issues related to child protection with particular focus on child marriages and child domestic labor.

At the consultation, the present situation of child protection in Punjab and Islamabad was discussed and the parliamentarians’ attention was drawn to urgent interventions necessary to enhance protection of children from violence and exploitation. Different ways were also explored through which CRU and other members of CRM can support the government in strengthening the protection systems. The parliamentarians also shared information about new laws and amendments in the existing laws on child protection that were in the pipeline.

All the parliamentarians in attendance showed serious commitment and political will to the address the issues raised in the meeting. Dastak CRU along with other CRM members will be working closely with the parliamentarians to benefit from their renewed and fresh resolve to improve the legal framework on child protection and ensure child rights remains a top priority in the government’s agenda.

The meeting was attended by the following 12 parliamentarians:

  1. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz (MNA)
  2. Tahia Noon (MPA)
  3. Mehwish Sultana (MPA)
  4. Bushra Butt (MPA)
  5. Sumbal Malik (MPA)
  6. Nafisa Amin (MPA)
  7. Rana Mannan Khan (MPA)
  8. Sadia Rohail Rana (MPA)
  9. Shamsa Ali (MPA)
  10. Sadiqa Sahibdad Khan (MPA)
  11. Uzma Kardar (MPA)
  12. Talath Naqvi (MPA)

Detailed report of the meeting will be uploaded shortly.

Children’s Annual Event 2018

Dastak Child Rights organized Children’s Annual Event 2018 on 18 December 2018 at Alhamra Cultural Complex where it brought together children from across Punjab to celebrate their talents and to enhance their socialization skills and self-confidence. The event was attended by nearly 300 children from different cities of Punjab. It comprised of an art and talent showcase including a children’s art display and twelve performances of dance, singing and drama. A video presentation on an environment campaign called Chotay Qadam Saaf Watan started by the CA members was also shown to the audience. The event ended with an energizing performance by Lal band.

Participating Institutes: Children from the following institutes attended and participated in the event:

  1. Bali Memorial Technical School, Lahore
  2. Pakistan Society for the Rehabilitation of the Differently Abled, Lahore
  3. SOS Sargodha
  4. SOS Sialkot
  5. SOS Multan
  6. SOS Faisalabad
  7. SOS Hermann Gmener School,  Lahore
  8. Najaf Grammar School, Lahore
  9. Lahore Education Society, Lahore
  10. Bunyad Foundation
  11. Dastak Informal School

Community Awareness and Sensitization Program

Rights of the Girl Child and Elimination of Child Marriages: Community Awareness for Social change

An awareness program was conducted for residents of communities located near Firdous Market, Gulberg 3, Lahore. This program was attended by 40 men and women. The session was focused on child marriages. To create better understanding of the damaging impact of child marriages, a small play was performed by a social theater group followed by discussion on the play and communities perception towards the practice.

Pamphlets on child marriages were distributed amongst the participants.

Children in Multan Showcase Talent

Dastak organized a talent show for children of SOS Village in Multan. A series of activities were planned for children including a painting, dance and singing competitions. A total of 102 children attended the show out of which 50 participated in the competitions. Gifts were distributed to the winners and refreshments served to all children participating and attending the show.

Community Awareness Program in Talwandi, Kasur.

A community awareness program was conducted in a small town of Talwandi in District Kasur on July 19, 2018. This program was attended by 65 men and women. The session was focused on child marriages – to understand the community’s perception towards this practice and to share information on how this practice is harmful for the wellbeing of their community.
It was observed that the community members did not consider this practice to be harmful and held the opinion that girls should be married off at the early age. A few teachers who were present in the audience, however, differed from the
general opinion and strongly stated that families should consider girls a burden or symbol of family honor and they should at least be allowed them to reach adulthood before they enter into a marriage.
Pamphlets and booklets on child marriages were distributed amongst the participants.
Dastak CRU will be continuing its efforts in this community and holding its next session in the same community.

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