Pakistan’s population of over 180 million people is not only large and growing, but also very young. Approximately 40 million adolescents aged 10-19 currently live in Pakistan and the number of people in the 15-24 age bracket will swell by 20 percent by 2020. Adolescents in Pakistan face a range of challenges, including natural hazards, a complex and often insecure context, rising militancy, climate change, rapid urbanization, disparities in access to basic services, low levels of citizen participation on issues of public interest, high numbers of out-of-school adolescents, unstable national economic growth and high levels of unemployment.
Intergenerational poverty and social and economic exclusion means that adolescents, particularly girls, face limited opportunities in terms of participation and are vulnerable to violence, neglect, and exploitation. Approximately 21 percent of women in Pakistan aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18 and an estimated 14.2 percent of girls aged 15-19 are currently married: in rural areas these figures are even higher. Results from the baseline survey conducted by UNICEF partners in the project geographies (30% of four districts in Punjab and Sindh provinces and selected areas of Lahore and Karachi) highlight that 43.7 percent of women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18, while 16 percent of girls aged 15-19 are currently married. Baseline results for project areas in Bahawalpur (30% of district population) highlight that 51.7 percent of women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18, while in Rahim Yar Khan prevalence stands at 49.1 percent.
Violence, particularly against women, is prevalent: data from the Pakistan 2012-2013 Demographic Health Survey indicates that 28 percent of adolescents aged 15-19 years have been exposed to physical or emotional violence. When asked about sexual harassment by baseline survey enumerators, 95,4 percent of adolescents responded that sexual harassment is a girl’s fault. Additionally, whilst structures to address core child protection issues are under development, there are gaps in institutional knowledge and capacity to support the protection of adolescents. Access to formal education systems is limited, particularly for older adolescents. Data analysis from the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) 2010-2011 indicates that approximately 78 percent of boys aged 10-14 and 47.1 percent aged 15-19 are currently in school. This figure is lower for girls: only 63 percent of those aged 10-14 and 35.5 percent aged 15-19 are currently in school. Baseline survey results show considerably lower rates, with only 24.4 per cent of adolescents aged 10-19 in Bahawalpur currently attending any type of education and 9 percent in Rahim Yar Khan.
The right to participation is guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was ratified by Pakistan in 1990. However, the participation of adolescents in public affairs, particularly girls and the most marginalized, and subsequent action from decision-makers is limited. Practical barriers to youth participation and dialogue include the absence of channels or forums through which youth can engage (at the community, district, provincial and national levels) and restrictions related to insecurity in many communities throughout the country. According to baseline results, only 12.5 percent of adolescents (4.7 percent of girls and 20.4 percent of boys) discuss adolescent-related issues with friends or family, while 13.4 percent adolescents participate in any group activity (sports, religious, student association, youth groups) in their communities, again with a stark gender gap (23.8 percent of boys, 3.2 percent of girls). When asked about their capability to influence decisions taken by their parents or local authorities, the vast majority of adolescent boys and girls in project areas stated that their opinion is rarely taken into account, while 59 percent of adolescents in the same areas reported not having an opinion at all, which highlights the lack of investment on adolescent boys and girls, to support them achieving their full potential.
The baseline findings also presented adolescents access to mobile phones and other media related appliances, such as TV and internet in project areas. The main media outlet available and used by adolescents is TV, with approximately 50 percent of adolescent boys and girls regularly watching TV (46 percent for boys and 56 percent for girls). When it comes to other devices, the gap between genders grows considerably. While 34.2 percent of boys have access to a mobile phone, only 9.2 percent of girls do. Access to the internet is very limited for both boys and girls (less than 10 percent overall), although much more so for girls.
To date, every province in Pakistan is struggling to engender a comprehensive and coordinated child protection system, aligned with applicable international minimum standards, including those pertaining to specific gender-related protection concerns of boys and girls, as well as adolescents. In 2016, UNICEF continued to support technically the establishment of such a system in each province or area, as well as delivering additional thematic interventions for a strengthened protective environment for children across the country. UNICEF believes that this long-term, critical effort is laying sustainable and comprehensive foundations for future interventions in support of the protection and development of children in Pakistan.
Adolescents’ rights represent a new, promising area of focus, both for provincial government counterparts and civil society organizations in Pakistan. Through this pilot intervention, CYAAD and UNICEF will engage with key stakeholders at provincial and district level in order to raise awareness and support the strengthened realization of the right of the child to participation and freedom of expression. Evidence and lessons learnt from this initiative will contribute to strengthen implementation of existing policies (e.g. Punjab Youth Policy developed by the Youth and Sports department) and practices around adolescent programming in the Province.
UNICEF Pakistan, together with CYAAD, will intervene to cover 11% of the total population of two districts of Punjab (Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur) to implement a range of activities enabling adolescents to have increased access to and use of information, enhanced confidence and avenues to form and express their opinions. Parents and communities will also be capacitated to understand adolescents’ rights, support their realization and access community-based structures that strengthen the protective environment around them. The project will build on three pillars, as follows:
Pillar 1: Adolescents as change agents for themselves and their communities: Adolescents know about their rights and entitlements and are able to identify and discuss issues that affect their lives.
Pillar 2: Families, communities, and decision-makers protect adolescents from rights abuses: Stakeholders and duty bearers acquire increased knowledge on adolescents’ rights and are encouraged to take action to protect adolescents from rights abuses.
Pillar 3: Public authorities and services uphold adolescents’ rights to ensure their protection, health, and education: Service providers are capacitated to provide adolescent-friendly services.
“Empower Youth for Work” will promote a positive enabling environment for youth, especially for young women, to thrive them achieving their potential and contributing to their social and economic development. Young people especially young women residing in rural areas will be empowered through SRHR right based education followed by entrepreneurial skills education to earn a sustainable livelihood.
The program will focus on communities that are hit hardest by climate change, hence Oxfam has selected specific rural areas i.e. districts Layyah and Jamshoro of Punjab and Sindh provinces where extreme climatic changes and disasters such as floods and drought prevails and where a huge bulk of youth with limited or no economic opportunities resides.
Through integrated and innovative approaches this project involves collaboration with stakeholders in the private, public and civil society sectors to create new, improved and sustainable models for youth inclusion in employment, training, youth group support, business development services and access to finance as well as community and mass media campaigning activities designed to change norms and policy that hinder opportunities for youth.
Youth will be co-creators and co-implementers. Through the civil society partners, close linkages with the private sector and the government will be ensured, skills training will be adopted within local structures and new innovative social enterprises. Unemployment will be tackled through improved private sector practice, increased market access, and new enterprise development. Hence an enabling social environment will be created through grassroots and mass media action. Rural young women will represent 70% of beneficiaries.
Engaged around 50,000 youth through a network of 77 Youth Associations for promoting peace and social harmony with the support of 3 jont working groups in the three districts of Multan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur.
Civic education provides a positive framework for collective civic identity. With this as a working purpose, this program has been built on the blend of (Action) research and advocacy for improved and diversified civic education models.
This learning-by-doing approach has three key pillars,
a) diversifying teachers’ role as educational entrepreneurs,
b) Cultivating students’ civic skills through hands-on opportunities of dialogue and action-taking
c) Fostering linkages between government, youth, teachers, parents and civil society groups to advocate for reforms in civic education practices.
The project was implemented in 10 (50 % girls and boys) elementary and secondary schools in two representative districts of Baluchistan, i.e. Quetta and Loralai. CYAAD will build capacity of 60 teachers as educational entrepreneurs, and will use its expertise to package and introduce new range of civic literacies that address the needs of emerging youth in areas of citizenship, identity formation, leadership, tolerance, communication, problem solving and project management. Given CYAAD’s positive reputation, and bold vision for education reform, we envision a level of readiness for the replication of the model to additional districts, instituting new reforms in civic education practices.
The Project strengthens relationships between youth groups, government officials and civil society organizations and young parliamentarians, raising awareness for the need of youth responsive policies and governance, in the province of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The program enhances the capacity of existing Youth Democratic Councils to advocate for themselves and represent their constituencies. The activism of youth groups and YDCs is transformed into a youth-led civil society network that influence the governance structures to be responsive to young people's needs and priorities.
Being one of British Council’s Strategic Partner, CYAAD has greatly contributed in the Active Citizenship Program, in terms of developing curricular material, training cadre of young facilitators, engaging/training young leaders, creating program tools, coordinating with partners in Baluchistan and improving the capacity of young facilitators.
In this course of engagement, CYAAD has developed its own approach for enabling a community of active citizens and reaching out to thousands of young people and their communities through training, social actions projects, exchanges visits, community events and advocacy ventures to achieve the objectives of the program. For 2013-14, CYAAD continue its partnership with BC with a new range of training, social actions, community mobilization and dialogue in Baluchistan, KP (Swat) and Sindh (Karachi). The programme will bring young people & partners from across these areas on common platforms, promoting a better understanding of diverse communities and mainstreaming marginalised youth.
CYAAD has been recently awarded to work with the British Council for the implementation of the ‘Connecting Classrooms and Social Action Initiative’ project in selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for identified for year 2013 and 2014.
High-quality face-to-face trainings to teachers and pupils will be delivered to develop student council in selected schools. These student councils will initiate the social action projects by involving local communities, mentored by teachers and facilitators, and coordinated by CYAAD.
Global Citizen Corps (GCC) is working to create a world-wide movement of young leaders who are able to serve as partners in building secure, just, and productive communities. GCC has four specific objectives: a) Facilitate personal development, knowledge acquisition and skills-building to enable young people to realize their full potential as active global citizens. b) Develop empathy and understanding across communities, countries and cultures. C) Support youth to take informed and meaningful actions on local and global issues. and, d) Create a collaborative and continuous learning community using innovative technology and in-person engagement.
GCC engaged young people through a three-tiered process of training, dialogue, and action-taking, Impacting, more than 500 youth in 2 districts of Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwha (Swat and Quetta) received extensive training as core GCC leaders and another 18888 youth received elements of GCC training. More than 70,000 people were engaged in over 120 youth-led action projects and millions more were reached through the media. GCC leaders also raised 2 million KPR in support of humanitarian and development activities.
The objective of this innovative program is to engage the youth through a series of self reflections (training) including an analysis of identity, its link with the surroundings and how it can positively link with a social action.
The actions generated were also based on the youth’s perspective of the world around him/ her. YAP from 2012- 2013 in two districts of Balochistan i.e Loralai and Quetta. Over period of one year program benefited 2700 young people directly -138 youth leaders, 525 peer and 2037 global citizens and more than 20901 indirect beneficiaries. The purpose of the Youth Action for Peace is to improve young people’s understanding of, and ability to, address the causes and consequences of conflict in their own communities and beyond.
This project aimed to impart skills in youth for creating dialogues; developing positive social networks and take concrete actions to learn / develop values and beliefs that undermine the attraction of extremism.
Under this Project CYAAD trained 780 youth in identity formation, conflict prevention and management, civic engagement, community mobilization and leadership. CYAAD also provided and created dialogue opportunities and spaces between the trained youth and communities leading to positive conflict resolution and social action to counter violent extremism. This project was implemented in Lyari, Korangi, and Sultanabad/Hijirat Colony, which are among the KYI's focused areas.