The Ministry of Human Rights has launched a Community Engagement Campaign to raise awareness about the “Zainab Alert” that has been launched on the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal. The first session was conducted today in the Pilot Comprehensive Community Development Centre in Sohan. The campaign is geared towards encouraging parents, teachers, and other community members to report missing children using the newly instituted mechanism. Several sessions in various community centres in the Islamabad Capital Territory will be conducted in the next few weeks.
The campaign entails interactive community sessions to explain the technical aspects of the application, in order to empower and enable citizens to effectively use the application to report, track and trace missing children in their communities. Participants are given demo tutorials on how to use the app. Citizen’s lacking internet access or basic literacy are encouraged to visit any government office or institution and request that an alert be generated on their behalf.
Moreover, the state machinery and system to respond to Zainab Alerts is also explained to participants. The police is obligated to contact the person who has generated the Zainab Alert within a period of 24 hours, and to lodge an FIR based on the information provided. The Alert will be sent to the District Police Officers (DPOs) and the Regional Police Officers (RPOs) through their respective dashboards, as well as through SMS notifications due to the urgent nature of response required. Inspector Generals (IGs) will be responsible for following up in their provincial capacities, as well as the Chief Ministers and Provincial Home Secretaries.
Citizens’ are further informed about the option of tracking and tracing the progress of their complaint through the application. They are also encouraged to regularly visit the public registrar of missing children on the app or web portal, to help track and trace missing children, as well as to increase visibility through sharing and promoting such cases on social media.
The launch of the Zainab Alert on the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal is an important initiative of the federal government to unify and strengthen efforts to track and trace missing children and child abuse cases in Pakistan, following the recent enactment of the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act in March 2020. The Zainab Alert system activates the state machinery at relevant regional and district levels for effective emergency response and recovery of missing children. Through integration with the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal, the alert mechanism is already available to 3 million registered users.
The Zainab Alert application / alert mechanism was developed by the Ministry of Human Rights in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Performance Delivery Unit. It utilizes advanced technologies and packs in several key features such as AI Face Recognition, Geo tagging and mapping, and real time progress tracking and alerts in order to streamline and strengthen response and recovery alerts. The system is monitored by the Ministry of Human Rights. The Director General of the newly constituted Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA) will supervise the mechanism and dashboard at the Ministry of Human Rights