- Group Development Pakistan (GD Pakistan) is a Pakistani non-profit organization registered under Society’s Act 1860. GD Pakistan believes in a democratic and humanistic society in which the most important stakeholders-children-are acknowledged, respected and protected from violence, abuse and discrimination. GD Pakistan follows a holistic, child focused and human rights-based approach.
- GD Pakistan vision: Pakistan is a country in which each child is free from violence and discrimination and fully avails and exercises his/her fundamental rights to a life of dignity, safety and self fulfilment as described in the UNCRC.
- GD Pakistan avails a strong and unique expertise in building/improving institutional and technical capacities using professional, scientific, creative, user-friendly, participatory, inclusive and culture sensitive methods. GD Pakistan also strongly believes in developing synergies and enhancing positive communication to promote collaboration between state institutions and civil society, media, community, members, corporate entities, artists, youth, children, academia & donors to generate positive systemic change in order to promote and protect child rights.
- GD Pakistan aims to:
- Conduct evidence-based advocacy and lobbying programs aiming to promote child rights and protect children from any form of violence.
- Build and/or enhance local and regional institutional and technical capacities to enforce child rights and address violence against children (prevention and response).
- Monitor, assess and devise actions, projects and programs to protect children from any form of violence, abuse and discrimination.
- Facilitate networking and synergies among state (including regional or national or provincial Human Rights Institutions) and non-state actors to enforce child rights and counter violence against children.
- Pilot, replicate or upscale actions, conduct research and produce publications relating to child rights, education and child protection (with a specific focus on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, Child Trafficking, Juvenile Justice and child participation, worst forms of child labour, child marriage).
- To this effect, GD Pakistan implements the following Programs:
- Tabdlili: Group Development Pakistan believes increative and synergic evidence based advocacy and lobbying which is peaceful, beneficiary-centered, inclusive and cognitive. Situation analysis, researches and evaluations are conducted to support GD Pakistan’s actions. These baselines and/or researches are essential to understand contexts, patterns of issues, their extent, their impact. They provide information that are critical to design effective advocacy and lobbying interventions which may include -but are not limited to- : media awareness campaigns, festivals, seminars, international day celebrations, competitions, sports events and social change initiatives. Arts are frequently used as a vehicle to convey messages demanding political and legislative change and child participation is always a priority.
- Ujagar: Group Development Pakistan has established a unique capacity building department aiming to transfer knowledge and skills in order to empower partner organizations/institutions to effectively enforce child rights and address violence against children, especially Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and trafficking and worst forms of child labour and child marriage. This department is articulated around 5 components:
- Need assessment
- Tool Development
- Training Delivery
- Mentoring: assessment and technical supervision
GD Pakistan implements a full capacity building cycle and relies on participatory, culture/gender sensitive and scientific processes.
- “Meri Awaz Suno” (Listen to My Voice): Inspired by an ex EU-funded project coordinated and monitored by GD Pakistan from 2012 till 2015, Listen to MY voice is a program that focuses on promoting and protecting the enforcement of article 12 of the UNCRC: Child’s right to safe, meaningful and inclusive participation.
- Imtizaj (the network): this program focuses on connecting state and non-state actors together to promote and protect children’s rights via healthy and transparent partnership and share knowledge, experiences that make actions more effective. GD Pakistan is a member of Girls Not Brides, EVAWG alliance, NACG Pakistan, Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia) and Child Rights Movement.
- Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL): Group Development Pakistan believes in an alternative discourse to foster national, regional and international collaboration to promote and enforce child rights in Pakistan. To this purpose, establishing a healthy partnership based on common values and collective actions that promote multi-axis lenses (vertical, horizontal, transversal) is one of GD Pakistan priorities. GD Pakistan proposes sensitive and user friendly methods and tools to follow up programs implementation, identify strengths and weaknesses, demystify the concept of mistakes and propose remedies to ensure effective and impact oriented developmental actions. GD Pakistan also stresses on the importance of documenting good/best practices that will be used for further strategic planning, to foster child rights.
To date, GD Pakistan has been partnering with the Ministry of Human Rights, other government departments, Child protection Institutions such as Zamung Kor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, National Commission on Human Rights, National and provincial commission on the status of Women, schools, universities, lawyers, media and civil society networks such as Child rights Movement, EVAWG alliance, KPCSN and National Action Coordination Groups (NACG) and SAIEVAC (South Asian Initiative to Eradicate Violence Against Children), a SAARC apex body, GD Pakistan has also up-scaled capacity building programs in association with UNICEF and Handicap International. It is currently co-chairing NACG Pakistan and is a member of a task force against child labour and child marriage, a member of EVAWG alliance and a member of the SAIEVAC regional technical experts group on CSEA (Child sexual Abuse and Exploitation).
GD Pakistan developed 10 LSBE tools and trainings that benefited more than 25000 children highly vulnerable to or survivors of CSEA, street children and juveniles. Around 500 caregivers were trained on child rights and child protection. Those tools and trainings are now still used by those caregivers and some of those tools/trainings have been/will be replicated within state ran institutions catering to children. GD Pakistan capacity building and mentoring action in a slum in Lahore enabled to mainstream 120 child labourers into formal education. The process is currently studied by Lahore governmental authorities to be up-scaled for 140 NFE centers in Lahore in collaboration with the Literacy and Education Department.
GD Pakistan led several evidence based and child centered advocacy and lobbying campaigns that contributed to the enactment of the a) Criminal Law Amendment Act 2016 that criminalises sexual violence against children as well as commercial and sexual exploitation of children b) National Commission on the Rights of the Child Act 2017. Currently GD Pakistan has also managed to foster coordination and advocacy between state and non-state actors to demand the criminalization of internal trafficking and child domestic labour and raise the minimum age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18 in ICT through a campaign titled “#raisetheage” in collaboration with several CSO networks. The campaign has progressively fostered increased mobilization to provide Islamic research showing that 18 as a minimum age of marriage for girls is the norm that must be followed.
Additionally, GD Pakistan has been coordinating a SAARC regional advocacy project on behalf of NACG (National Action Coordination Group) Pakistan and in collaboration with all NACGs, SAIEVAC regional secretariat, and in partnership with Plan International to advance child protection at a regional level. This resulted in the development of a first ever draft SAARC regional strategy on CSAE (to be submitted to SAARC countries for endorsement in 2018) and in the elections of two SAIEVAC regional ambassadors on CSAE. Currently based on those efforts, GD Pakistan is coordinating an interim process to establish a CSO national coalition against CSAE.
In order to counter worst forms of child labor, GD Pakistan has provided technical support to local CSOs representatives in Lahore who got equipped to mobilise community members, employers and parents which led to the mainstream of around 120 child labourers (girls and boys) into the formal educational system from 2015 to 2017.
GD Pakistan has assisted the Lahore High Court to establish the first Child Court in the country in December 2017.
Morever, GD Pakistan has mentored 10 child members of the HRCYTF who took part in the first International Human Rights Conference organised by the government of Pakistan in February 2018.
Lastly, GD Pakistan ED, Mrs Valerie Khan, is a member of the Board of Zamung Kor, the first ever state Child Protection Institution in KP dedicated to street children. To this effect, her organization has developed ZK’s Child protection Policy and SOPs on a pro bono basis.