ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: In the run-up to the World Day Against Child Labour, the Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari inaugurated the opening of the Aitzaz Hasan Child Protection Institute in Islamabad.
The institute has been established under the Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Act 2018, which was drafted by the Ministry of Human Rights to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury, neglect, maltreatment, exploitation, and abuse.
The Aitzaz Hasan Child Protection Institute will provide protection services to vulnerable and at-risk children.
The new Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan Child Protection Institute, inaugurated by @ShireenMazari1, is a significant milestone in the Ministry’s effort to protect children in Pakistan from abuse, injury, neglect or exploitation and safeguard their constitutionally guaranteed rights. pic.twitter.com/R9bsLdmfTe
— Ministry of Human Rights (@mohrpakistan) June 10, 2021
In her address, Dr. Shireen Mazari reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of children and eliminating child labor in all of its forms, stressing its physical and psychological dangers.
“Ensuring the rights of children is a key priority of the incumbent government, and the new Child Protection Institute is a significant milestone in this concentrated effort to prevent the abuse, injury and exploitation of children in Pakistan,” she said.
The institute will provide rescue, shelter, counseling, family tracing, and rehabilitation services to street children, child labourers, or children who are trafficked, lost and neglected.
Dr. Mazari also emphasized the recent, concrete steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights to strengthen legislation and protect children’s constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The case of eight-year-old Zohra Shah, who was ruthlessly killed by her employer, prompted the Ministry of Human Rights to propose a significant amendment to classify child domestic labour as a “hazardous occupation” under Schedule 1 of the Employment of Children Act 1991.
The Ministry of Human Rights also runs a national helpline 1099 to register complaints of human rights violations across Pakistan and ensure prompt redressal.
The Federal Secretary for Human Rights Inamullah Khan said that it is “intolerable that children should be working in exploitative or dangerous conditions, and the Ministry of Human Rights is playing a proactive role in protecting children from the detrimental mental and physical impacts of child labour – in line with Pakistan’s constitutional and international obligations”.
Inamullah Khan noted that the new Child Protection Institute represents a critical step in Pakistan’s sustained efforts to safeguard children’s rights and safety.