Over half of women drug addicts in Pakistan are educated, according to a recent report of the narcotics division.
Taking note of the dangerous trend, the former government had announced a rehabilitation programme for the affected women, but the project has yet to be implemented.
The report available with Daily Express states that the current government had abandoned the plans to rehabilitate women victim of substance abuse.
According to available documents, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government had set up a ministry of narcotics control and among other duties it was assigned to create awareness against drug abuse particularly among women.
Owing to lack of facilities and social barriers, women find it almost impossible to seek help in cases of addiction.
Therefore, the past government had not only planned Narcotics Control Division to set up rehabilitation centres, but also start a series of seminars and awareness events sensitising women against substance abuse.
According to report, the number of drug-addict women is rising at an alarming rate, which warrants immediate action from the state and government functionaries.
The report states that among the drug addict women the division profiled, at least 53 per cent were educated. While hinting at the scourge of easy availability of drugs on campuses, the report asserted on government to take preventive measures.
It said that majority of women addicts belong to educated metropolitan communities. Out of the total number of women drug addicts it interviewed, 53 per cent happened to be college or university graduates while 17 per cent were matriculate, middle or primary pass.
A whopping 43 per cent of all addicted women were married, 20 per cent of which have been married for 12-15 years. The figures again point towards access to narcotics and a certain social acceptability of addiction rather than getting professional help for rehabilitation.
According to the report, 49 per cent of women get their drugs supplied from their friends, while 19 per cent of the others get them from their neighbourhood suppliers.
Taking note of the issue, the former government of Pakistan People Party had announced a project for rehabilitation of married women addicts. The project was launched on the premise that women victims of drug abuse will affect their whole families. Hence, the government tasked the Narcotics Control Division with the challenge to organise extensive seminars, workshops and awareness campaigns related to drug prevention and control.
The programme aimed to dilute stigma related to drug addicts and rehabilitate affected women and transform them back into productive members of the society. The programme proposals were however kept in files for years with no practical implementation.
According to sources, PPP in its tenure had operated a now-defunct Ministry of Drug Control on ad hoc basis. However, no significant progress has been made in this regard by the present government.
One in six Asian migrants is a child, with Pakistan ranking among the top 10 countries hosting child refugees in Asia, according to a United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) report.
The report titled ‘Uprooted: The grooming crisis for refugee and migrant children’ revealed that Asia is home to two in five of the world’s child migrants, nine out of 10 refugees from Asia find refuge within Asia. Pakistan is closely followed by Afghanistan, Turkey, Myanmar, India, Azerbaijan and Bangladesh.
More than 19 million people have been internally displaced by conflict in Asia. A total of 1.5 million were displaced in Pakistan as of last year. There were close to 300, 000 refugees originating from Pakistan in 2015. Children accounted for 58 per cent of all Pakistani-origin refugees, the highest proportion in the region.
“Many of the youngest refugees have known only conflict and deprivation in their short lives,” states Unicef executive director Anthony Lake in the report. “If we fail to provide them – and all child refugees and migrants – with opportunities for education and a more normal childhood, how will they be able to contribute positively to their societies? What price will we collectively pay for that failure?”
But if young refugees are accepted and protected today, if they have a chance to learn and grow, and to develop their potential, they can be a source of stability and economic progress, he further states.
The largest number of child migrants live in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Among the top 10 countries hosting the largest number of international migrants under 18 years, Pakistan ranks fifth with around 0.8 million international migrants under the age of 18 years and some 1.6 million in total.
Conflicts in many Asian countries, high susceptibility to natural hazards and a large population all contribute to the huge toll of internal displacement within Asia.
Around 19.2 million people have been internally displaced by violence in Asia, a staggering 47 per cent of the global total for similar internal displacements.
Protracted conflicts and long-standing political crises are responsible for the situations faced by most of Asia’s refugees. Children make up 48 per cent of all refugees from Asia, including half of all Syrian and Afghan refugees. Children make up 58 per cent of all refuges from Pakistan, the highest proportion in the region.
In addition to the many vulnerabilities faced by labour migrants, the age and inexperience of young labour migrants puts them at heightened risk of exploitation and many of the worst forms of child labour.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the recent national surveys from seven South Asian countries estimate that there are almost 17 million enaged in child labour and 42 million children out of school.
As child migrant labourers are severely disadvantaged by their status, they often end up in the informal sector or working as domestic servants, where it is particularly difficult to monitor and protect their well-being.
An ILO summary of evidence related to child labour makes it clear that working migrant children are the worst affected among these: “amongst child labourers, it is migrant children who receive less pay, work longer hours, attend school less frequently, and face higher death rates at work in comparison to local children.”
“Asian children will continue to confront internal displacement and its attendant dangers each year unless dramatic action is taken to curb climate change, improve urban planning and address disaster-risk reduction,” the report reads.
Prime Minister’s Youth Training Scheme
Aimed at training the educated youth of Pakistan through internship in private and public sector offices.
- 16 years HEC recognized degree or equivalent.
- Diploma of 3 years after Matric / FSc.
- Madrassah graduates are also entitled to apply.
- 50% of marks or 2.5 CGPA in final degree/diploma is the minimum threshold for selection of interns.
- Age limit is upto 25 years on 25-10-2016.
- Pakistani National.
- There is no gender discrimination female candidates will be encouraged to apply.
All over Pakistan
Rs.12,000 per month for 12 months
Number of Interns
Focal points in each private and public office will be responsible for ensuring effective use of the internees’ services
Areas of Training
All leading private sector firms/bodies and development sector organizations, federal, provincial and local government offices including educational institutions will be offered services of the internees
Allocation of Interns
Primarily, the allocation of interns will be made in accordance with the NFC award and FPSC’s recruitment criteria for provincial/regional quotas for all three years. The selection of Interns will be as per their domicile but can be placed in origination outside of their domicile region based on the demand profile and matching of applicant profile. Per year allocation of interns is as under
- Budget Allocation 2015-18: 7851 Million
- Data cleansing of 106,989 applicants is complete, out of which almost 44000 degree holders have been verified by HEC and almost 18000 Diploma holders have been verified by the respective Technical Education Boards.
- M/O IPC has issued placement letters to 44000 successful interns based on their preferences and matching market demand. Out of these 44000 interns, 33000 are degree holders whereas 11000 are diploma holders.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that Pakistan has 6.7 million drug users. More than four million of them are addicts, amongst the highest number for any country in the world.
“The way you place an order with Pizza Hut for pizza, it’s even easier than that to place an order for drugs,” says Dr Mohammad Tariq Khan, who has been researching narcotics in Pakistan for more than 20 years.
He says he is committed to staying clean, but his neighborhood is so rife with drug abuse that he has already relapsed several times. The war-torn country is the source of at least 75 percent of the world’s heroin, according to the UNODC, and much of it is trafficked through Pakistan on its way to lucrative foreign markets. Of the 150 tonnes of heroin that enters Pakistan each year, 44 tonnes is consumed locally.
The human cost of this flood of drugs making its way through Pakistan is extreme. On a sweltering Sunday inside a suburban bungalow in Karachi, 14-year-old Mohammad Shehzad is fighting an internal battle.
Shehzad started using hashish when he was nine. When he began detox three months ago, the withdrawal would send him into fits of rage.
Shehzad is living in Karachi’s only drug rehabilitation centre for children. It is run by the Alleviate Addiction Suffering Trust, a private NGO that cares for up to 25 boys at a time.
“I tried twice at home to leave drugs but I couldn’t leave it,” he says, sitting on the roof of the drug rehabilitation centre. “I want to go to all those people whom I have hurt, people whose hearts I’ve broken. I want to ask for their forgiveness.”
Most, like Shehzad, are hooked on hashish or glue. But increasingly the staff is seeing children addicted to heroin.
“I can’t even count how many people do drugs in this city,” says Aftab Alam, 21, a former heroin addict who is now an outreach worker with the Trust. “There are so many addicts now. Their lives are destroyed, there are so many who have died.”
By Karishma Vyas
“If you don’t talk to me today, I’m going to slit my wrists.”
It was my third visit to the children’s drug rehabilitation centre in Karachi and 14-year-old drug addict, ‘Tariq’ (not his real name), would not let me leave until we talked.
I was interviewing some of the boys in a quiet room to find out about their addiction. Tariq wanted to know why I had not chosen him; why he was not special enough.
It was an emotionally charged atmosphere inside the centre run by the Alleviate Addiction Suffering Trust. Dozens of boys, some as young as eight, were fighting withdrawal and emotional turmoil after giving up their addiction to cannabis, glue, heroin or methamphetamines.
|It’s difficult to do justice to children who have so much potential, yet are trapped by a cycle of addiction. It was equally hard to adequately convey the dedication of a handful of men and women who believe in these children so completely.|
Many fled physical and sexual abuse at home only to be victimised again on the rough streets of Pakistan. One boy had been sold by his parents to a fish monger who sexually abused him for years. Another child told me his father would pass out, exhausted after beating him.
Many of these children used drugs to suppress their trauma, but now in rehab and stone sober, they had no way to escape their past.
My first day at the centre was overwhelming. About 20 boys were undergoing three months of live-in rehabilitation. Some were still in the initial throws of detox, while others were just beginning to rebuild their lives.
But the boys were not the meek victims of drug abuse I had expected. They were tough and rowdy, running circles around me and the staff with practical jokes and silly stories. Some of them drew pictures of colourful houses and gardens for me.
They could also be unpredictable, playing foosball one minute and collapsing into desperate sobs the next. Some of them would secretly disappear to scratch their arms until they bled. Other boys had violent outbursts, physically attacking the staff and other children over small disputes.
I didn’t know how to begin to tell their stories as a filmmaker, or how to do it without harming them. So when Tariq, the 14-year-old hashish addict, threatened to slit his wrists, I was terrified.
The staff at the centre were remarkable at navigating these emotional minefields. Counsellor Shehla Mazardar told me a boy once stood in front of her with a knife to his own throat, threatening to kill himself if she moved.
From the beginning she told me to be kind but firm. With her endless patience and calm, Mazardar had earned their respect. Many of the boys treated her as an older sister, someone to poke fun at but ultimately to be obeyed.
For six days a week staff like her work with child addicts at the centre, knowing that even after all their effort there is a 70 percent chance that they will relapse into drug abuse. The children were never judged or scolded for this. After all, some of their own parents were drug addicts.
On every level, this story was tough. It’s difficult to do justice to children who have so much potential, yet are trapped by a cycle of addiction. It was equally hard to adequately convey the dedication of a handful of men and women who believe in these children so completely. But that is why this was an important story.
Watch this Documentary :http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2014/10/drugged-up-pakistan-201410810920503625.html