Child friendly newspaper awarded for creating awareness on CSA

Child sexual abuse – Not tolerable at all
Published in Pakistan Observer (30 Mar. 2011)
Sana Jamal

ISLAMABAD: Child sexual abuse is a public health epidemic inflicting long-term serious health effects on its victims, destroying individuals and families. Yet it’s largely ignored in our society.
However, a part of society which is continually working to create awareness regarding Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) also needs appreciation. To appreciate hard work and dedication of newspapers, volunteers and students on CSA issues, Sahil (NGO) held an award ceremony at a local hotel in Islamabad on Monday.

Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, advisor to Prime Minister and His Excellency Robert Kvile, Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan were the chief guests on the occasion.

The award for Child Friendly Newspaper in national category went to Daily Khabrein (Multan) which published 326 CSA news reports, Daily Waqt (Lahore) received the award in Regional category with 348 reports while Daily Sobh Karachi with 250 reports won award for local newspaper. ‘Best Volunteer Award’ went to Abdul Latif Zafar of Bahawalnagar. Students were also bestowed awards for making two short documentaries, one on ‘Bullying’ and other on ‘Poverty’.

Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali appreciated the role of young students and Sahil in “highlighting a social evil which is often fuelled by public silence in a society like ours.” She added that “we must no longer remain silent” on CSA issues.

Mr. Kvile believed that Pakistan is a country having a wide gap of “haves and have-nots” however he was of the view that “media can help in shaping the positive attitude” in public regarding CSA.

A research report titled ‘Cruel Numbers 2010 report’ by Sahil (NGO) was also launched which revealed that a total of 2252 children were sexually abused throughout Pakistan during Jan. – Dec. 2010. The report has been published after monitoring 66 newspapers of Pakistan.

Khawar Ansari, Chairperson of Sahil explained that “Sahil is the only organization in Pakistan that works exclusively on the issue of child sexual abuse and its mission is to develop a protective environment for children free from all forms of violence.”

Manizeh Bano, Ex. Dir of Sahil, shed light on the good side of the cruel crime by sharing a true story of child abuse in which the victims were convicted for 25 years.

Souvenirs were also presented to Mr. Robert Kvile and Ms. Shahnaz.

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