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Pakistan

January 21, 2021

Child protection and welfare: KP govt proposes recording executions and making them public

Pakistan

Thu, Jan 21, 2021

PESHAWAR:  The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is planning to amend laws pertaining to child protection and welfare to include a 14-year term  in prison for child sexual abuse convicts as well as recording  executions and making  them public. 

Under the existing KP Child Protection and Welfare (Amendment) Act 2010, a person convicted of sexually abusing a child faces up to 14 years in imprisonment sentence. 

The new draft, titled KP Child Protection and Welfare (Amendment) Act 2020, plans harsher punishments including life imprisonment and a Rs5 million fine. The law also proposes death penalty for organ traffickers. 

The bill stated that in case of a death sentence “the proceedings of the execution of sentence of death shall be recorded by audio visual means and such recordings may be accessible to the public as prescribed.”

 "In case the accused is awarded imprisonment of life, he shall remained imprisoned for remainder of his natural life without the possibility of parole or probation." 

It added that  the convict will not be entitled to any remission during the imprisonment.

Other amendments include a 14-year prison term for person(s) charged with making pornographic videos of a child and 10-year term for seducing a child with the intent of involving him/her in a sexual activity.

The bill proposed that a register of sexual offenders will be maintained and all information relating to the convicted will be shared with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to make it public.

In addition, registered sexual offenders shall not be employed by an organisation that works or deals with children and the employers who do hire them will be fined. They will also be prohibited from traveling on public transportation that is used by children.

Dr. Hisham Inamullah Khan, the provincial minister for social welfare, told Geo.tv that the government has taken notice of the rising cases of child abuse and the drafted bill will be presented in the next cabinet meeting of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The draft also proposes life imprisonment or "a term which may extend to 25 years but which shall not be less than 14 years and a fine of up to Rs5 million" for those convicted of child trafficking.

Human rights activist Farieha Aziz says the proposal to take a clip of the hanging and put it in the public domain is “inhumane”.

“This is all about creating a spectacle,” she tells Geo.tv, “It has got nothing to do with the law and order or to address the issue at hand.”

She adds that the government should instead look into problems that arise at the investigation and prosecution stage of cases of sexual violence and assault. “Those are the things to focus on because rarely do [such] cases actually get to the punishment stage.”