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July 16, 2015

Right Movement wants to discuss NCRC Bill with Senate body

Lahore

July 16, 2015

Isamabad
The Child Right Movement (CRM) Pakistan on Wednesday demanded a meeting of the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights soon after Eidul Fitr to discuss National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) Bill and forwarded the bill to the National Assembly for enactment without any further delay.
The Bill was forwarded to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights for review by the National Assembly in April 2015 after it was placed before the National Assembly. The Standing Committee however, could not review the Bill in a meeting held on July 13, 2015 and it was deferred. The Bill on the NCRC is pending since 2001.
The demand was made in a press conference organized by the Movement, a coalition of more than 200 civil society organizations working for the protection and promotion of child rights across Pakistan. The CRM welcomed recent developments around enactment of the pending child rights related legislation at the federal level including the National Commission on the Rights of the Children (NCRC) Bill.
Addressing a press conference at Islamabad, CRM Pakistan’s Executive Committee Members lauded Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights’ steps towards the enactment of the long awaited National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill. They also expressed concern over the fact that the most of the bills are pending on child rights issues and urged the government to look into this matter. They asked civil society and media to pressurise government.
The CRM Pakistan Coordinator Noor said that in Pakistan, over the years, legislation on child rights issues have gained less or no attention by the policy makers and one of the biggest reasons for this disparity is the absence of National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) to act as a central, independent and effective child rights body to ensure monitoring and implementation of the minimum child rights standards across the

country, respond to the child rights violation cases effectively and immediately and put efforts for filling legislative gaps.
“The CRM Pakistan will continue to advocate for the enactment of this and various others child rights related bills and for the establishment of an independent commission to work for the promotion and protection of child rights in light of Pakistan’s Constitutional and International Obligations being party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Noor.
The CRM Executive Committee Member Samina Mukhtar also showed concern in delays about various pending bills at the national and provincial levels including the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill, the Criminal Law (Child Protection) Amendment Bill, the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, the Child Marriages Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the ICT Child Protection and Welfare Bill at the national level.
The CRM was also concerned at various bills which are pending at the provincial levels including Balochistan Child Protection and Welfare Bill, the KP Child Marriages Restraint Bill and the KP Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, the Punjab Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill and the Prohibition of Child Labour Bills in various Provinces and urged the federal and provincial assemblies to prioritize child rights related legislation.
The CRM Pakistan appreciated the recently concluded consultative process by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights and UNICEF for finalizing the Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill 2015. “We hoped that this Bill will be placed before the National Assembly and enacted soon,” said Shazia Jamal.
The CRM Pakistan urged the government that besides enactment of all pending bills, budgetary allocations should be ensured. The CRM Pakistan demanded the federal government to focus on putting in place a strong Child Protection System at the Islamabad Capital Territory and Federally Administered Tribal Areas and for the purpose not only enact the long awaited the ICT Child Protection and Welfare Bill but also allocated sufficient resources both for ICT and FATA.
It was also demanded that effective child protection system should be established in GB and AJK as well.
The previous National Assembly passed the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill 2013 on its last day in session however, the Bill lapsed as it was not passed by the Senate of Pakistan and the National Assembly was dissolved. Similarly, the Child Protection (Criminal Law) Amendment Bill 2013 was approved by the previous Cabinet in its last meeting without any further progress, shared members of the CRM Pakistan.
Though the ICT Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act was passed in 2012 by the both houses of the parliament but yet the law is not enforceable in the ICT as rules have not been notified for the enforcement and implementation of the law in letter and spirit.

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