National Disaster Management Authority and Save the Children finalize Child Protection policy

Islamabad: A two-day consultative workshop is being held in collaboration with the Gender and Child Cell (GCC) of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Save the Children. The participants of the workshop discussed the Child Protection policy drafted by GCC and Save the Children.

NDMA Chairman, Mr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir while inaugurating the Work Shop said, “NDMA is committed on providing support to the GCC and is keen on developing a concrete mechanism for Child Protection in the aftermath of disasters.

As NDMA is mandated with the management of pre- and post-disaster situations, there is a pertinent need to institutionalize Child Protection and ensure smooth service delivery.” The Chairman lauded the efforts of GCC, Save the Children and UNICEF in drafting the Child Protection Policy and standard operating procedures aimed at supporting separated, missing and unaccompanied children in emergencies.

Save the Children Country Director, David Wright said, “The absence of a clearly defined child protection policy and mechanism was direly felt while responding to last year’s floods. This culminated in unnecessary delays in responding to children’s needs”.

Over 10 million children were affected by the 2010 floods and a number of children were separated and unaccompanied. Save the Children and UNICEF, in collaboration with the NDMA, jointly devised a standardized policy for Child Protection and a reunification mechanism for separated children.

UNICEF Deputy Country Director, Karen Allen said, “These guidelines should be disseminated at the provincial and district levels to make the policy operational. If implemented in its true essence, the policy can bring about positive change in the lives of millions of children in Pakistan”.

The two-day consultative workshop will incorporate feedback on the draft Child Protection policy with officials of Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, Social Welfare Departments and humanitarian agencies. The workshop aims to reach a consensus on a Child Protection Policy for helping children in emergency situations.

For more information, contact:
Ahmed Kamal
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
Tel: +9251 9215412
Cell: +92300 5278981 and +92331-5657779