KARACHI: The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Children (Sparc) in coordination with prison department provided recreational facilities to Youth Offenders Industrial School (YOIS) at the Central Prison Karachi with the view to enhance civilian and non-civilian capacity to counter violent extremist narratives with a focus on vulnerable populations.
On the occasion, Sindh Inspector General of Prison Mr Nusrat Mangan was the chief guest along with Deputy Inspector General of Women Prison & YOIS, Sindh, Ms. Sheeba Shah, Superintendent YOIS & Correctional Facilities Karachi Mr Gul Muhammad Sheikh and others.
IG Prison Nusrat Mangan said that through this initiative juveniles are assisted by providing them with IT skills so that they are able to use the computer and technical skills to potentially enhance their professional capacity post incarceration.
Early years in a childs life lay the groundwork for the choices that the child makes in the future. The Constitution of Pakistan privileges the right to free and compulsory education for all children up till 16 years (Art. 25-A). However, little progress was made in the past for children in prisons. Such recreational facilities provided for the children living in prison were limited to food and general medical coverage only. A computer lab was established in the YOIS.
A gaming room is also established at the YOIS facility in Karachi. This initiative aims to perceived benefits in terms of a positive impact on prison life and culture, preparation for release, improved attitudes, thinking and behavior and in promoting desistance from crime.
Sparc has worked extensively to bridge these gaps and is trying to fill this space created with the absence of a social welfare infrastructure for Sindhs down-trodden prisoners.
Ms. Shumaila from Sparc says: Sparc has conducted a project at the Youthful Offenders Industrial School Karachi to re-socialize the children and youth into the fold of society through techniques of positive behavior. The project over a period of 12 months worked to incorporate Non-Formal Education, Computer Literacy and Life Skill Based Education among 120 juveniles.
Under this project we provided with sports activities to offer a healthy outlet for their energies. Similarly, introduction of a Learning Corner will help nurture an environment to enhance the youths cognitive, linguistic, social and civil development. Sparc will also train prison staff on Juvenile Justice System Act and to sustain interventions in the long run, she added.
Sparc representative Kashif Mirza said that child protection refers to the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of every child in and out of the home. Child protection consists of reducing risks to children’s holistic well-being, making children’s rights a reality, restoring hope and a dignified living where abuse has occurred and creating an enabling environment that supports children’s positive development, Kashir Mirza added.