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Punjab govt prepares booklet to create awareness among children about sexual abuse – Pakistan

Punjab government has decided to impart sex education among children studying in schools and seminaries following a recent upsurge in the reporting of sexual abuse cases across Pakistan.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, while announcing this decision during a press conference on Friday, said the provincial government has prepared a booklet, in consultation with religious clerics, to educate children .

“Initially, the booklet has been compiled for young children, however, another booklet has also been compiled which would be introduced for students in grade 8 and above,” the minister said.

Sanaullah further said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif approved the draft of the booklet after a committee, constituted for prevention of child abuse, had recommended it.

The brochure, containing Quranic verses among other references, also provides guidance to parents, he said, adding that the booklet would be provided to all students and teachers in each and every school and seminary.

It was compiled with the help and consultation of the Muttahida Ulema Board, the law minister said. The booklet is aimed at providing guidance to children of age 10 and above. It teaches children to avoid interaction with suspicious or unknown people, he said.

“Providing awareness to children on sexual abuse is not a ridiculous idea and religious clerics were also in favour of creating awareness among children on this subject,” Sanaullah maintained.

“Teach your children not to let anyone touch their private parts,” he urged the parents and asked them to play their due role in curbing sexual abuse in the society. “Children should be able to share their feelings when they feel fear or panic.”

The minister said it was obligatory for parents to provide separate beds to their children when they turn 10.

The brochure would be revised after every six to 12 months, the minister said, adding that the government would launch an alert system for missing children.

Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Minister Zaeem Qadri also addressed the press briefing. He said that so far the issue has been addressed in 53,000 mosques.

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