Child Rights

There are over 70 million children (35% of the total population) in Pakistan, the majority of which grow-up with little access to their fundamental rights to primary health, basic education, and protection from abuse and neglect. Mostly, children of the country are victims of exploitation by their fathers or family due to economic challenges which use to push them into labor, even in hazardous forms of it, and deprivations from their basic rights of education, health fitness and childhood delights. But since the start of last decade, the children are becoming the victims of militancy as well, either through recruitment as suicide bombers or through a complete breakdown of the health and education system in military riddled areas in Pakistan. Situation of girls, the denial of their right to education and threats to their freedom, is equally alarming.

What We Do:

7The source of inspiration behind establishment of BUNYAD Foundation in 1992 was to make an active contribution in provision of fundamental rights, particularly educational, to the children of neglected and marginalized families which forced or will force them to be involved in hazardous forms of child labor. Starting from philanthropists’ contribution in this cause of child protection, the Foundation first attracted the International Labor Organization (ILO) for financial as well as technical support and this first attraction proved to be such a spot that very soon, but as a result of its outstanding working outcomes, the Foundation emerged as a trusted and leading organization of child rights protection and advocacy in Pakistan.

Since its establishment, BUNYAD Foundation has implemented 20 projects solely to address the issues of child labor in 10 districts of the Punjab province. These projects ranged from mapping of working children to enroll them in non-formal and formal schools so that their futures can be transformed from labor to educated ones. The children working in carpet weaving units, soccer ball and surgical industry, brick kilns, cotton fields, and even camel jockey were identified and advocacy was made with their employers and then enrolled in the non-formal basic education centers established by the BUNYAD Foundation where they were provided food, stationary, books and sports items along with education. During 1995 to 2013, the Foundation has established 10,815 non-formal and basic education centers for the children involved in labor where 417,756 children, 40% boys and 60% girls, were enrolled out of which 79% became fluent with basic reading and writing of basic Urdu and mathematics.

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Geographic Coverage:

For the protection of children rights, BUNYAD Foundation has implemented 20 projects in 10 districts of the Punjab province. Most of the projects were implemented in multiple districts like Sialkot which remained primary focus of BUNYAD Foundation with implementation of nine projects as the district had the highest ratio of child labor due to home-based industries of cutlery tools, soccer ball, and other sports items. Whereas in Rahim Yar Khan district, five projects were implemented for the children working in cotton fields and camel jockey. 

Partners:

Of course, BUNYAD Foundation as a single entity can never made such a grass-root level with broader outreach interventions to combat such worst forms of child labor in remote areas of the country. It made possible due to financial support and technical facilitation from United Nation’s agencies working for the rights and protection of children. The key names of UN agencies which supported the Foundation to work for the rights of children involved in worst forms of child labor included UNICEF, UNESCO and the International Labor Organization (ILO)/IPEC.