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The Constitution of Pakistan 1973 ,Child Protection Bill 2017 and Juvenile Justice System bill 2017 “.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 has guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity ,of freedom, of social justice etc . The article 11 prohibits  slavery, forced labor and the article 25 is in favor of equality of citizens.
 
Article 11. Slavery, forced labor, etc., prohibited.-
(1) Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form.

(2) All forms of forced labor and traffic in human beings are prohibited.

(3) No child below the age of Fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall be deemed to affect compulsory service-

(a) By any person undergoing punishment for an offence against any law; or

(b) required by any law for public purpose:

Provided that no compulsory service shall be of a cruel nature or incompatible with human dignity.

Article 25: Equality of citizens

1. All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

2. There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex.

3. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the protection of women and children.

CHILD PROTECTION BILL 2017 & JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM BILL 2017

Recently the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights has passed the much-awaited landmark bills i.e. Child Protection Bill, 2017 and Juvenile Justice System Bill, 2017, for better care, protection and rehabilitation of children. The committee passed both the bills with a few amendments unanimously after a thorough consideration.

The Child Protection Bill 2017 will prevent children under the age of 18 from working. A new welfare fund will also be set up and orphaned children will be registered. The operations of institutions working for child protection will be appraised and child protection officers will be appointed under the bill.

Both the bills seems to be comprehensive and effective for the protection of children and to improve juvenile justice system in Pakistan.
The said bills will also protect children who are unattended, victim of an offence, found begging, imprisoned with the mother or live in an immoral environment.
The Juvenile Justice committee made an amendment in Section 8 of the Juvenile Justice Bill 2017 by adding a clause if the accused “claims to be a juvenile.” Which means the accused should have also been given right for claiming juvenility in case the accused person is aggrieved by the police or the court.
Celebration Time
 

The passing of the bills is indeed a celebratory moment for us as “it will safeguard minors from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect,” but certain questions arise here at this point ;

1. Whether the new bill of child protection can hold people accountable for child labor?

2. How the government will make sure the application and implementation of the said bills?

3. How did the government will completely eliminate child labor from society? 

4. How the child will get speedy justice through the courts of law? 

The Child Protection Bill 2017 aims to rehabilitate children who report abuse, mental or physical, or are found begging, among other factors. But with the absence of holding people accountable for child labor it will leave many children vulnerable to societal pressures,resultantly robbing them of their childhood and innocence.

Now its high time that the government should make sure the implementation of the above discussed bills for the betterment and rehabilitation of children as it is also the constitutional right of every child.

“The writer Jaweria A. Kashif is Advocate High Court, Lahore. Her Facebook profile here.”

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