The Senate Special Committee on Child Protection in its meeting held on Thursday at Parliament House reviewed existing laws regarding child abuse and social system regarding child protection.
Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the meeting was attended by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif and senior officers from Islamabad Police, Pakistan Baitul Maal and members of Civil Society hailing from institutions such as SOS Village, SAHIL, Pakistan Sweet Homes, SPARC that have been working rigorously to protect child rights in Pakistan.
ConvenerCommittee, Senator Rubina Khalid said that the Committee was setup on the special directives of the Chairman Senate, Senator Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani and is intended to review the issue of child abuse in great detail; especially in connection with reference to the incident that took place in a Mansehra Seminary. The case of little Uooz Noor was taken up by the Committee as well. She stressed the need for sensitization of the people of Pakistan and said that society must play its role to prevent such incidents. She said that it was imperative to determine the root cause for increase in such cases in Pakistan.
All participants presented the Committee with suggestions on how this extensively important matter is to be dealt with to generate long term results. A strategy must be formed to formulate an effective solution to the issue. The Committee, it was asserted, must focus on preventive action, awareness and advocacy. A one-window operation system must be formulated to facilitate action in such cases. The availability of funds was asserted. Training and sensitization of the police and judiciary was stressed. The participants were of the view that the agenda must be structured to gain maximum results. The importance of creating pre-incident awareness was stressed. The Razi-nama culture must be shunned and courts must have the ability to give compensation to the victims. Making use of existing resources was encouraged. Identification of loop holes in existing laws by Committees of both Houses and a mechanism for ensure implementation was recommended. Deputing a special judge in all District Courts to deal with such cases was stressed.
The Committee recommended that all suggestions must be submitted in writing. Convener Committee, Senator Rubina Khalid was of the view that based on these recommendations a pilot programme must commence in the Federal Capital, which may be replicated by the provinces at a later stage.