The cases of violation of child rights in Sindh are on the rise and implementing the Sindh child protection authority is the need of the hour to improve the child rights situation in the province. Sindh formed the authority back in 2011 through legislation in assembly, however, it is yet to work.
So far only two meetings of the authority could be held and its third meeting is expected next week in which the rules of the Sindh child protection authority would be formed, to ensure protection of the rights of children in need of special protection measures in whole province The provincial assembly of Sindh in on May 16, 2011, had passed the Sindh child protection authority bill, 2011 and on June 9, 2011, the Sindh governor had assented it. This authority was formed to ensure the rights of the children are protected in the province of Sindh. This authority would have the powers to coordinate and monitor the child protection-related issues at the provincial and district level and to ensure the rights of the children in need of special protection measures. It will support and establish institutional mechanisms for the child protection issues and to make necessary efforts to enhance and strengthen the existing services of different children welfare institutions.
The authority would also set minimum standards for social, rehabilitation, re-integrative and reformatory institutions and services and ensure their implementation. It would set up child protection management information system and prepare annual reports. Human rights attorney and head of Madadgar helpline for women and children Zia Ahmed Awan said that Sindh was the first province to have the child protection authority, which is a welcome initiative. He said the civil society is fully on board to make this authority an effective institution for the protection of child rights. He said we want this authority to work at the Taluka level so that its services are utilised at grassroots level.
He said that the recent deaths of children in Thar have made it even more crucial that this authority is made fully functional so that it could achieve its objective. He said the government should provide the authority a sufficient endowment fund to help it standing on its two feet. Secretary Sindh Social Welfare Department Shariq Ahmed said their department is fully committed for the social welfare of all segments of society including children. Their department is working to provide enabling environments and tangible opportunities through policies, programs and projects that would contribute in promotion of social progress and socio-economic uplift by addressing the needs of the marginalised and vulnerable segments of the society.