Hand 2 Help

UNICEF defines an orphan as a child who has lost either one or both parents under the age of 18. By means of this classification, over 132 million children were reported globally, as orphans in 2015 — of which 4.2 million reside in Pakistan, as per a UNICEF report. Given the poor economic conditions, a defective social structure, and lack of legislation, Orphans are more prone to exploitation and violence in Pakistan.


To get a grasp of this predicament, a clear understanding of the problematic ways Orphans are treated in Pakistan is necessary; be it the lack of laws or the scant number of Orphanages. The Government of Pakistan passed its very first bill for the welfare of the orphan children, titled ‘Un-attended Orphans Rehabilitation and Welfare (Act), 2016’, which made it the responsibility of the state to provide for the vulnerable children. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. This is because the law lacks in practicality, and has done little for a movement that requires far more effort, and allocation of resources. 

Unlike the favourable adoption laws found worldwide that encourage the adoption of Orphans, both, nationally and internationally, Pakistan’s adoption laws are complicated, to say the least. Adopters are considered legal guardians rather than parents, whereas adoptees are ruled out of any property rights of their adopters. Such problematic factors not only cause complications in their registration with the national identification agency (NADRA), but is also a cry for more concrete, and transparent laws that can protect the rights of Orphans.

Consequently, the role and presence of Orphanages in Pakistan becomes an indispensable matter. However, the dismal “waiting lists” is another blow towards the fate of these vulnerable children.

Reports suggest that such humanitarian, and developmental gaps, and the mere absence of the rule of law, for the protection of Orphans, have left them at the mercy of exploiters, such as child traffickers, child labour, and terrorist groups. Similarly, they are unprotected against natural calamities such as earthquakes and floods, which are a common occurrence in Pakistan.

In consideration of all these factors, a countrywide presence of Orphanages becomes all the more crucial for these vulnerable children in Pakistan. They need a place that could provide them with care and security while empowering them to build a life for themselves.

Notable faith-based organizations make extensive contributions to the welfare of Orphans worldwide. This is because the importance of caring and providing for Orphans is emphasized in almost every religion.


In December 2013, in their fortieth session, held in Guinea, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced their decision to designate the 15th of Ramadan as Orphans Day in the Muslim World. OIC’s decision to put forth such an idea is deeply embedded in the teachings of Islam that lay huge emphasis on orphan rights. So much so that caring for an Orphan is equivalent to worship. As mentioned in Surah Al Ma’un (1-2): “Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense [the religion]? For that is the one who drives away the orphan”. According to this verse, Allah declares that rejecting an Orphan is an act of a nonbeliever.

On another occasion, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) promised paradise to the one who cares for an orphan. May peace be upon him, the Prophet is reported having said, “I and the caretaker of the orphan will enter Paradise together like this, raising (by way of illustration) his forefinger and middle finger jointly, leaving no space in between.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaari]

In the teachings of Islam, caring for the Orphans are paid huge importance; for example, the topic of Orphans is mentioned over 20 times in the Holy Quran.

In light of the Quranic verses, and the Sunnah and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the emphasis laid on the rights of Orphans become quite apparent. Such unprecedented rights mentioned in Islam have laid the foundations of various Orphanages, and charitable organizations, working to provide care and protection for the Orphans in the Muslim world.


Similarly, in the Christian faith caring for Orphans is seen as an act of a believer, one that pleases God. As mentioned in James 1:27: “A religion that is pure and stainless in the sight of God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This is what motivates churches to work tirelessly for the Orphans worldwide.

In Judaism, the rights of Orphans are of equal importance, as mentioned in Isaiah 1:17: “Uphold the rights of the orphan: Defend the cause of the widow.”

It is worth mentioning that in the Semitic religions, notably Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the importance of Orphans is often mentioned along with the rights of Widows.

Aghosh-e- Rehmat

According to a UNICEF report, Pakistan is home to 4.2 million orphaned children. While some of these children find a loving home with relatives, many are left to fend for themselves.