Police to rehabilitate homeless children – 02 Mar 2023

LAHORE: The Punjab police will coordinate with four public and private institutions to rehabilitate destitute and homeless children across the province.

Inspector General of Police Dr Usman Anwar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Social Welfare Department, the Child Protection Bureau, the Search for Justice and Care Foundation and the Child Protection Bureau, under which homeless children will be taken to child protection bodies and schools. The programme targets those children who are threatened by sexual and drug abuse and violence.

Addressing a ceremony, Dr Anwar said the initiative launched on the platform of `Protection` centers will supportthose children who were suffering from social negle ct.

`Under the programme, we would bring these homeless children to public and private institutions that will protect them and provide the with basic rights in order to ensure the great goal of making them productive and useful citizens, the IGP said.

He added that such children ended up begging, and committing petty crimes, when not provided with proper care.

Police stations will be connected with the four institutions through an integrated system, and regional and the district police officers would ensure cooperation with them.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Sidra Khan gave a presentation about the programme.

`Under this programme, childreninvolved in begging will be brought to the schools of the Care Foundation,` she said.

Similarly, orphan girls living on the streets will be taken to SOS Village, and other homeless children will be referred to the Child Protection Bureau.

Similarly, the police with Search for Justice will take measures to prevent crimes related to children and provide justice to them.

Iftikhar Mubarak from the Search for Justice called the programme a good initiative which brings the institutions working for the protection of children into a network, saying it will make it possible to end the problems of these children.

SOS Director Almas Butt said that coordinated system and collective efforts at the departmental level for the reha-bilitation of street children will lead to securing their future.

Punjab Child Protection and Welfare Bureau Chairperson Sara Ahmed said that under the MoU, the bureau and the police will take mutual measures for the protection of children and joint operations will be conducted for children who are victims of begging, abuse and exploitation.

The officials of the Social and Welfare Department, Care Foundation, Planning and Development and Dastak Trust also participated in the ceremony and presented their suggestions to secure the future of street children.

They said that it is not possible to remove the helpless children trapped in the mire of drugs, abuse and social neglect without the support of the police.

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