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January 14, 2020

Call to enforce Zainab Alert Bill in all provinces

Lahore

January 14, 2020

LAHORE:The National Assembly has passed the Zainab Alert, Recovery and Response Bill, 2019, and calls are growing to expand its scope in all provinces instead of the Islamabad Capital Territory only.

Omer Aftab, CEO of an NGO, has said that the legislation is a basic and important step to create a safe environment. “Passing the bill is a good move. The government, media and civil society must take measures to educate and create awareness among parents, teachers and children about the security and safety of children so that they can prevent crimes against children,” he added.

He said, “There are some gaps in the bill from the point of view of the common people. First, the bill is introduced only for the Islamabad Capital Territory. It must be passed by the provincial assemblies in order to be implemented in the provinces as soon as possible. Secondly, the death penalty should have been added to the bill. According to the bill, maximum punishment for child abuse will be life imprisonment with a fine of Rs1 million while minimum punishment is 10 years. Exploitation causes serious damage to the cognitive, social, and emotional development of a child.”

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