Abandoned Babies and Children:
Protecting children in a society where infanticide and honour killings of unwed mothers is not uncommon.
Securing and protecting the lives of unwanted and abandoned babies is a big challenge in a conservative society like that of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. In these areas, individuals or members of a society are better known through their ancestral roots and tribe lineage. Birth of a baby without a solemnized wedlock of the couple is taken as a serious taboo and dishonor to the family and carries stigma to the entire family and tribe. Thus every year, number of innocent babies are killed or abandoned to die in order to save the family respect in our region, which is one of the most of the conservative societies in the developing world. Honor killing of unwed mothers is rampant across Pakistan, and is the case in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The exact figures and data on abandoned babies are not available, because most of the cases remain unregistered. Most cases have no parents identified, and are not registered due to socio-cultural norms and policy constraints. There is no clear-cut policy and ruling set by the government for such cases and their registration. However, CEENA is working in this field despite a host of problems and challenges. We are trying to save and protect the lives of as many abandoned babies as we can.
CEENA has been successful in creating awareness among the communities but much more needs to be done. Many people still hesitate to cooperate due to socio-cultural barriers. CEENA does not lose time in saving the life of an abandoned baby or a vulnerable child as soon as it gets the first information.
As a matter of policy, CEENA does not discriminate in providing services to the abandoned babies and children because of their disabilities. Families interested in adoption are disinclined to adopt babies with special needs. They are even regarded by some as a burden on the families and society. Thus, CEENA is the last hope and the only facility to house such babies and children while providing them level best services.