Child protection institution to be established to ensure protected environment

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The federal government will establish child protection institutions to take special measures for protection and care of children ensuring a conducive environment for them.

Under the new Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Bill 2017, recently passed by the National Assembly standing committee on Human Rights, these institutions would receive reports of children who are in need of protection and care.

The bill introduced by Minister for Human Rights, Senator Kamran Michael, has already approved by the cabinet on February 7.

Later the bill was introduced in the National Assembly on May 15 and referred to the NA standing committee on Human Rights for recommendations.

According to the bill these institutions would require services from the relevant department whereas it would also maintain a record of case management of the received complains.

Under the new bill, after its passage, Child Protection Officers would be appointed responsible to collect, maintain and update child protection and case management data, an official of Ministry of Human Rights told APP.

Proper data of child abuse cases and persons convicted of officers against children would also be maintained.

He informed that the comprehensive assessment shall be completed within 30 days of the complaint whereas no assessment shall be considered complete unless the Child Protection Officer would met and heard views of the child where the child is of sufficient age and level of maturity.

The Child Protection Officer shall develop an interim child care plan if the complainant required which include a formal referral to an appropriate for of emergency alternative case.

If required an application to Court will be submitted for care and placement of the child, he further informed.

The official stated that every unattended child shall be registered in accordance with the provision of the National Database Registration Authority Ordinance 2000 (VIII of 2000), or any other law for the time being in force.

After the passage of the bill, he added, a child protection and care Fund would be established which would be utilized for the well-being of un-attended child while any report to the child protection officer shall be treated as confidential and would not be disclosed in media.

He further informed that the ICT Child Protection Bill, 2017 provides for the protection and care of children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in compliance with Constitution provisions and international obligations of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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