The Sindh government has prevented 200 instances of underage marriage since the imposition of the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, which specified 18 years as the minimum age for tying the knot in the province.
This was disclosed by caretaker chief minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar while speaking at a walk he led to mark World Children’s Day at Sea View on Sunday. The walk was organised by the social welfare department of the provincial government.
Baqar said the provincial government has been taking practical steps with complete commitment to the welfare and protection of the rights of children while considering them the future of the country, guaranteeing nation building.
He said the walk was organised to highlight the cause of providing a healthy and secure environment to children in society. Children will become productive members of society after they are brought up in a healthy and conducive environment, he added.
He also said the provincial government stands fully committed to fulfilling the fundamental rights of the children and securing their bright future. He appreciated the social welfare department for organising the walk to spread mass awareness about the rights of children.
The interim chief executive said that all the concerned sections of society should stand completely united in order to ensure the bright future of all the children.
He said the provincial government had launched the emergency helpline number 1121 to protect the rights of children and save them from exploitation. The helpline has received 129,750 calls for emergency support from the government for the protection of the rights of children, he added.
He also said the provincial government has established child protection units in 30 districts of the province. District coordination committees have been formed in every district under the relevant deputy commissioner for the protection of the rights of children, he added.
He disclosed on the occasion that the provincial government has established a shelter home in Karachi that has the capacity to house 300 homeless children.
Baqar said the Sindh Child Protection Authority has successfully handled cases of 5,497 children to save them from exploitation or maltreatment. He said the Sindh Child Protection (Amendment) Act, 2021, and the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, have been implemented in the province for the protection of the rights of children.
He also said the relevant authorities of the provincial government have ensured reuniting some 2,275 missing children with their families, adding that the police have ensured the timely recovery of 235 kidnapped children.
He mentioned that the Sindh Child Protection Authority has prevented 883 cases of maltreatment of children by providing them with emergency aid and protection. He also disclosed that 1,472 children have been rescued from the clutches of beggars to save them from exploitation and improve their future.
Talking to the media on the occasion, the caretaker CM condemned the atrocities being committed by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian children in Gaza. He said the global humanitarian forces concerned should stand fully united and take practical steps to protect the children in Gaza.
He lamented that the global community has done nothing except paying lip service to the protection of the children in Gaza from the brutal Israeli aggression.
He said the provincial government has been taking practical steps to save minors from the menaces of beggary and child labour, as one effective step in this regard is to ensure that they get an education at schools without any interruption.
He also said he has taken steps to ensure the provision of quality school education to children belonging to underprivileged families at public schools. The functioning of the child protection authority is being improved to save children from exploitation and preventing their rights from being trampled upon, he added.
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