CAN Pakistan and Search For Justice observed the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on 20th November 2017 by organizing two separate sessions for boys and girls on child protection in Lahore, Pakistan. Children were taught on their rights and responsibilities as stakeholders of the society and their importance to protecting themselves from exploitation. The global context on violence against children was shared, to help the children avoid falling victim of violent acts. Psychologist and parliamentarian, Dr. Aliya Aftab, participated in the event.
Participants were advised on preventive measures against radicalization and violent extremism. It was pointed out to them that violent extremist groups intentionally target children and adolescents for recruitment, and use them to carry out attacks in the name of religion. Facilitators shared UNICEF’s report that in Nigeria, 1.3 million children were displaced in 2015 as a result of violent extremist attacks by Boko Haram, representing a 60% increase from the previous year. In the same year, there were 44 incidences in which children including girls were used to carry out suicide attacks.
Facilitators thus urged religious leaders and faith communities to employ an ethical and value–based approach to address the serious challenges faced by children. They also stressed the need for children across the country to be sensitized on preventive ways to end violence against them. CAN Pakistan and Search For Justice continue to promote moral values and skills among children so that they can prevent violence in their various capacities.