UNICEF-RPSN: Promoting Child Rights in Cotton Farming Areas of Punjab

RSPN partnered with National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) to work on a UNICEF funded initiative on developing communities’ awareness on the rights of children in cotton-picking areas of South Punjab and to discourage families from sending their children to work on cotton fields. Funded by IKEA Foundation through UNICEF, this three-year’s project was implemented in 312 villages in 17 union councils of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur districts of Punjab. RSPN and NRSP strived to make people aware of the rights of children and the negative impact of child labour throughout the project life, which started from October 2014 and successfully completed in December 2017.

By setting up a social fund and offering poor women income-generating grants, rural communities were given the opportunity to earn a better livelihood and stop engaging their children in labour. Multi-functional community centers were also  set up to provide adult literacy classes, skills training for women and so on, in order to help people develop marketable skills which they can use to earn a better living. Women and girls of rural areas were empowered by participating in capacity building sessions and income generating grants to run their own small businesses at their doorstep, thus becoming capable of sending their children to schools.

Major achievement of the project were as below:

  • 2055 beneficiaries – 400 from Rajanpur, 1005 from Bahawalpur and 650 from Rahim Yar Khan –started their income generating projects
  • 5005 children – 2927 boys and 2078 girls– were enrolled in government and private schools
  • 279 social fund projects established in targeted districts.
  • 196,247children are benefiting from social fund projects
  • 312 multifunctional community centers were established in targeted districts
  • 312 groups of girls and 312 groups of boys were reformed to educate them on child rights and child protection

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