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Pakistan should enact child protection laws, Karachi resident tells court

Zainab Alert Act was passed in March 2020

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Feb 15, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

A man approached the Sindh High Court on Monday and said that child protection laws are not being implemented in the province.

He said that Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act was passed in 2020. The law required the province to make a child protection and advisory board but it has yet to be made.

The court has issued notices to the federal government and deputy attorney general in the case and summoned replies from them by March 2.

Zainab Alert has been named after seven-year-old Zainab Ansari who was raped and murdered in Kasur. Her case sparked national outrage and a conversation about child abuse.

An agency will be set up under this bill that will closely work with the 1099 helpline and other helplines in several districts. When a complaint is made via these helplines, it should be immediately transferred to the agency so an investigation can immediately begin.

The agency will operate out of Islamabad and engage the PTA, social media, and other institutions to create a helpline and SMS service to spread information about missing children.

Special teams, called MCRRTs, will be set up and headed by a senior police officer. These teams will work with the local police in the cases of missing children.

The bill has proposed the death sentence, life imprisonment, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years for people who abduct children.

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