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Parliamentary consultation on Child Rights Legislative review at Federal Assembly Islamabad

The meeting in Islamabad Capital Territory was organized on November 08, 2019 at Academy of Education Planning & Management Islamabad. The participants of the meeting included some Hon. Members of National Assembly, government officials, civil society partners, academia UNICEF and other stakeholders.

Member National Assembly & Convener Parliamentary SDGs Taskforce Hon. Mr. Riaz Fatyana in his keynote address highlighted that Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of Child states that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. He said one of our core mandates is to protect our children and provide them their basic rights. Concluding his speech Hon. Mr. Riaz Fatyana said we have to work together for a prosperous Pakistan where our children can progress and get their basic rights of health care, education, protection, survival and development fulfilled.

Mr. Luis Gorjon, Social Policy Head, UNICEF Pakistan thanked the parliamentarians & stakeholders for their keen interest in the meeting. Hon. Mr. Sher Ali Arbab MNA & Chairperson CPEC Committee in his concluding remarks said the parliamentary consultations on child rights present an opportunity for law makers and other stakeholders to take stock of the progress made since the ratification of convention, identify gaps in the legislation and renew their commitments to protect and promote all of children’s rights. The UNICEF consultant team presented the legislative review on child rights enacted by National Assembly.

Interesting discussion took place and following recommendations were presented:

·      Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Act 2018 needs rules of law require to be notified along with minimum care standards to be adopted and allocation of appropriate resources.

·      Exclusive courts, Juvenile Rehabilitation centres and observation homes to be established.

·      Laws requires to add special provisions to protect women and children, as it will be difficult to change their location and keep them in protective custody without adopting an SOP.

·      There is no proper section in Panel Code of Pakistan regarding child rape and child unnatural offence. There should be a separate definition and proper punishment on this issue.

·      There are issues in the implementation of the laws. Police is not applying the proper section of the laws and they only apply the 377 section.

A resolution was also signed by the participants of the meeting to reaffirm support for promotion of child rights in Pakistan.

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