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12 January, 2009
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The President of PSC, Fasihuddin, visited the Philippines for an orientation tour to the Child Protection Unit (CPU) at Philippines General Hospital and the women and Children Protection Center at the Police Headquarters, the former headed by Dr. Bernadette J. Madrid and the later by the first women Police General, Gen. Tanigue, both are widely known for their excellent academic and professional career and contribution in the Philippines. They have a good and committed team of proficient knowledge workers and officers. The CPU was found in 1997 and in a short span of time became famous for its services throughout the country, and now hopefully be replicated in other parts of the world. Child abuse, especially the sexual abuse is the greatest concern of the CPU. The CPU now successfully imparts training to doctors, nurses, government officers and social workers on the various aspects of child abuse, child treatment, child rehabilitation and child reintegration, both to native and foreign trainees. A few batches of senior Pakistani medical doctors and social workers got benefited from this training programme at CPU which also includes examination and practical work. The CPU coordinated with the local police and within a period of ten years imparted training to almost the whole of the Philippines police (1,20,000) on matters related to child abuse and protection which ultimately led to a separate but fully equipped Women and Children Protection Center. The main Center is in Metro Manila, under the able command of General Tanigue. All these centers are based on a ‘One-Stop holistic approach. Though there is enough room for further improvement in these centers, however, we in Pakistan, should replicate these models, initially, at least one in each provincial police headquarters and one in each mega hospital. In our country, the major emphasis is on mass-awareness type of activities, with somewhat politically-motivated seminars and conferences in super star hotels, etc, but no concrete, visible and practical or research-based work has been done so far by any NGO or an international organization. Not even a data base is developed on children in conflict with law, not even a single protection center of enviable nature is established, and not even a proper and empirically- tested research is done on various kinds of child abuse or juvenile offences/offenders. The Philippines Unicef office has a lot to these valuable centers for their actual/ practical services, their research work and their various training manuals and published reports.