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April 10, 2021

PHC CJ inaugurates four child protection courts in KP to take total to eight

Peshawar

April 10, 2021

PESHAWAR: Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday inaugurated the child protection courts in various districts.

The courts were set up in Kohat, Bannu, Swat and Mardan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now has eight child courts, the highest in the country.

Ceremonies in this regard were held at Peshawar High Court and the divisional headquarters of the respective districts, simultaneously.

In the PHC, the ceremony was attended by the judges, advocate general, chief secretary, IGP, secretary home, secretary law, secretary social welfare, principal officers of PHC and others.

A communique said that all the child courts established in the province are now equipped with the digital paraphernalia. Separate rooms for children in contact with law and in conflict with law were provided where all the basic facilities are ensured.

Child protection courts have been established in the province not only to ensure protection of children from maltreatment, violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect but also to provide speedy, effective and inexpensive justice to the children according to the mandate set by the United Nation Convention on Rights of Children.

The chief justice while highlighting the need and importance of exclusive child courts in the justice system remarked, “Let me remind you that children under 14 years of age constitute almost 33 percent of our population. It would, therefore, be unjust and unfortunate to blink the welfare of such a large chunk of the populace.”

He added that cognizant of its responsibility, the PHC embarked upon a plan in 2019 to establish a chain of child courts throughout the province, beginning with Peshawar, extending next to the divisional headquarters and finally to each district of the province. He affirmed that this was a big stride forward in the juvenile justice system unmatched by any other province.

Referring to the remarkable performance of the existing child courts, the chief justice stated it is heartening for him to share the commendable performance of the four child courts in the province.

He pointed out that these courts while considering the statutory provision of law have disposed of the cases of children expeditiously and the average active time of the case of a juvenile is 123 days as per the independent evaluation.

“Peshawar High Court hopes that the provincial government will take concrete and practical steps on the establishment of observance centres and rehabilitation centres for children to fulfill the requirement of the statute,” he added.