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Protecting the Children: The Importance of Child Safety Education in Schools

Until January 2018, Zainab Amin's name was only known to her immediate Pakistan family. On January 4, she was reported missing, and five days later, a police constable assigned to find her discovered her lifeless body among a pile of trash near Shahbaz Khan Road. According to the police, it appeared that the girl had been killed four or five days before the discovery of her body. This tragic incident marked the 12th occurrence within a 10-kilometer radius in Kasur within a year.


Following that, the incident became etched in our collective consciousness. Living in the same neighborhood as Zainab, the impact of the tragedy is deeply personal to me. It transcends being just a news story; it is a stark reality that hits close to home, intensifying the pain and underscoring the urgent need for change. The echoes of her story resonate not only in headlines but within the very fabric of our community, emphasizing the pressing importance of fostering a safer environment for all. Parents were gripped with fear, hesitant to allow their children to venture outside, and an unmistakable sense of anxiety permeated the air. Personally, I found myself consumed by fear. The once-familiar routine of going to school, playing with friends, and even being at home alone became a source of dread. The shadows of uncertainty cast by the tragedy made every step outside my door feel like navigating a world fraught with danger. It was a time when fear became an unwelcome companion, casting a long and dark shadow over the simple joys of everyday life.





Child safety education should start at a young age and be integrated into all aspects of a child's education. Children need to be taught about good touch and bad touch, about the dangers of strangers, and about how to speak up if they are ever abused.

They also need to be taught how to stay safe in different situations, such as walking home from school, playing in the park, or using the internet.


In Pakistan, child safety education is still in its infancy. However, several organizations are working to change this. For example, the Zainab Alert Trust, founded by Zainab's parents, is working to raise awareness about child safety and provide educational resources to parents and teachers. Pakistan's government has also taken steps to promote child safety education. For example, it has developed a national curriculum for child safety, which is now being taught in some schools.


However, there is still much more that needs to be done. Child safety education should be mandatory in all schools in Pakistan and taught by trained and qualified teachers. In addition to school-based education, parents also play a vital role in teaching their children about safety. Parents need to talk to their children about the dangers of the world and how to stay safe. They need to create a safe and supportive environment for their children where they feel comfortable talking to them about anything.


Here are some specific ways to incorporate child safety education into school curricula:

  • Develop a comprehensive child safety curriculum covering all aspects of child safety, including sound and lousy touch, stranger danger, bullying, and cyberbullying.

  • Train teachers on how to teach child safety education effectively.

  • Provide schools with the resources to implement child safety education programs, such as lesson plans, teaching materials, and guest speakers.

  • Make child safety education mandatory for all students, from kindergarten to high school.




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16 Comments


It is just sad to think about the fact that you lived in the same neighborhood as Zainab when the incident took place. Not knowing Zainab personally, the tragedy affected me for days. I can never imagine how it impacted you at such a young age.


You are right; increasing child awareness through education is an essential part of the solution. But I feel like Pakistan needs to address the other side as well—the ones who commit these crimes. Although punished, the process takes so long and has many delays. The punishment for rape and murder-related crimes must be solidified and taught in school curriculums. Starting from high school, for example, children should ne aware of the consequences of such…


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Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
Dec 01, 2023
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Your perspective on addressing the root causes of such crimes is crucial. Strengthening the legal framework and expediting the judicial process are vital steps to ensure justice and act as deterrents. Embedding education about the consequences of heinous crimes like rape and murder in school curriculums is an innovative and proactive approach. By instilling this awareness from high school onwards, we not only equip the younger generation with a clear understanding of the legal consequences but also contribute to a cultural shift over time. This ripple effect through generations has the potential to create a society that is more informed and, hopefully, less tolerant of such atrocities. It's a comprehensive strategy that addresses both prevention through education and the establishment…

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Thank you for sharing this. The tragic story of Zainab Amin, resonating not only in headlines but deeply within our community truly highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to child safety education in Pakistan. Promoting child safety education from a young age is so important, including vital lessons about good touch and bad touch, awareness of strangers, and guidance on staying safe in multiple situations, including online interactions- and I do hope that awareness as well as subsequent implementations of this is made, because so many children are taken advantage of and exploited

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Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
Dec 01, 2023
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You're absolutely right, and I appreciate your reflection on the urgency of a comprehensive approach to child safety education in the wake of Zainab Amin's tragic story. It's heartening to see individuals like you recognizing the critical importance of teaching children about good touch and bad touch, stranger awareness, and online safety. Indeed, fostering awareness and subsequent implementations of such education is paramount, given the unfortunate vulnerability many children face. By advocating for and actively participating in initiatives that prioritize child safety education, we can collectively work towards creating a safer environment for our children, empowering them with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of the world while safeguarding their well-being.

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I completely agree with your emphasis on educating girls on sexual harassment. A similar incident that comes to my mind is the murder of an 8-year-old girl, Asifa Bano who was abducted from her home and was drugged and raped by several men, including a police constable. The critical question is what can be done to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future? I believe that education is not the only solution, there has to be a multifaceted approach involving various stakeholders to address the root cause and prevent similar strategies from occurring in the future. Also, the legal frameworks have to be strengthened to ensure strict punishments for those found guilty.


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Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
Dec 01, 2023
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Absolutely agree with your perspective! Ensuring quality education in public schools is crucial for fostering inclusivity and equal opportunities. It's evident that a significant portion of the population relies on public schools due to financial constraints, making it imperative for the government to allocate funds effectively. By investing in the public education sector, authorities can bridge the gap between private and public schools, providing students from all backgrounds with access to a high standard of education. Your emphasis on channeling resources to elevate the quality of education in public schools is spot on – it's a step towards a more equitable and just educational system. Let's hope for a future where every student, regardless of their financial situation, has the…


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Every unfortunate chance I got to see Zainab’s face on television in regard to her case, I would feel devasted. I cannot possibly fathom what it would be like for you to bid goodbye to her as a neighbor in such a tragic occurrence.


I was reading through your blog and you are absolutely right in emphasizing on the importance of good and bad touch. The fact that majority of girls have had to face some sort of sexual harassment is exactly why sex education is so important. I would like to mention Ashhad Ahmed Qureshi, a young Pakistani based in the United States who took an amazing initiative and wrote a a children’s book in Urdu to help educate…

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Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
Dec 01, 2023
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I'm grateful for your support and for shedding light on Ashhad Ahmed Qureshi's commendable initiative. It's heartening to hear about his children's book, "Mera Jism Mera Hai," as it addresses a critical need for educational resources in Urdu on such a sensitive topic. Raising awareness about child safety is a collective effort, and initiatives like this book play a crucial role in empowering children with knowledge. I'll definitely explore and share this valuable resource further in my efforts to contribute to child safety education. If you come across more initiatives or resources, feel free to share them – together, we can make a difference in fostering a safer environment for our children.

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Thank you for sharing this. It is a very sensitive topic, so not many can talk about it, and I am glad that you did.


What happened to Zainab, such a pure innocent soul, still haunts me. I remember when this terrifying news broke out and everyone around me was talking about it, but Zainab is not the only victim. This has happened to many girls in Pakistan, and it is just terrifying to see. I am glad you talked about this issue and how child safety education should be made mandatory, and I totally agree with you. This child safety education will teach children a lot about how one shouldn’t talk to strangers or go with them anywhere. It…

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Shamsa Kanwal
Shamsa Kanwal
Nov 18, 2023
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Thank you for your heartfelt comment Naimol. As you rightly pointed out, Zainab's case is not an isolated incident. Child abuse, unfortunately, is a widespread and pervasive issue in Pakistan, and it demands immediate and comprehensive action. I agree wholeheartedly with your call for making child safety education mandatory in all schools across the country. AND yes I also found The National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) was established on 16th December 1979 by the Government through a resolution being effective from 1st January 1980, which was amended from time to time finally in 1991 under the then Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as an advisory body to the Government of Pakistan on matters related to Children…

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