New York, NY
The Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children will be sending a senior coordinator to Pakistan to conduct a fact-finding mission on refugee “street children.”
From January 18th to January 31st Jane Lowicki, Senior Coordinator, Children and Adolescents Project, will investigate the situation of Afghan refugee children, including adolescents, in Pakistan.
Ms. Lowicki is available to reporters for interviews and can direct them to interviews with young people and those responsible for their protection and care.
Among her chief concerns will be to identify achievements and gaps in support for these young people, including structures in place or in development by international and local actors to monitor and ensure their well being and other areas of support, such as social networks and family status.
Ms. Lowicki will visit Islamabad, Peshawar (base), Quetta and potentially other sites to be determined in the field.
This mission will attempt to determine any increase in the number of Afghan refugee “street children” and adolescents in recent months, the circumstances surrounding such an increase and the conditions and risks facing these refugee young people.
"Of the nearly 300,000 Afghans who fled to Pakistan since September 2001, an undetermined number may be attempting to survive on the streets of Pakistan, where they are at risk of a range of abuses with limited access to protection or services," said Ms. Lowicki.
"They join thousands of other Afghan refugee "street children," who for decades have eked out a living for themselves and their families, but who according to some local reports may be losing their jobs and continue to face a variety of rights abuses."
Women's Commission Experts Available for Comment or Interview:
Mary Diaz, Executive Director, New York
Jane Lowicki, Senior Coordinator Children and Adolescents Project
Please contact Christine Gordon (212) 551.0959 for more information or to arrange interviews.