ISLAMABAD: Months after a local judge of the subordinate court and his wife were sentenced for torturing their child maid, a ten-member special committee has decided to make a draft for domestic labour laws on the rights of child protection including recommendations and proposals with the conformity of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The committee members will make the draft for federal and provincial governments legislation for an effective legal framework in protecting the child rights in the country.
Talking to TLTP on Friday, a member of the committee, human rights lawyer Sharafat Ali Chaudhry said that members have been asked to write the draft within three weeks.
He told that in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s (SC) directives, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan has called for domestic laws conformity with the CRC in order to fulfil Pakistan’s commitment to UN Conventions.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had ratified the Convention in 1990, however, the last survey about child labour in the country was conducted in 2010-11, revealing that as many as 5.7 million children of 10-17 years old representing almost 20 per cent of all children in the age group of the country were engaged in labour.
Another member of the committee, Group Development & Acid Survivors Foundation (GD&ASF) Chairperson Valerie Khan Yusufzai said that ensuring ratification and compliance of the CRC shall benefit Pakistan in Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus status.
Sharafat Ali Chaudhry who also drafted a number of child rights laws has suggested the committee to keep the existing federal and provincial legislation and the issue of conflict of laws in consideration while drafting an overall national legislation.
Chaudhry expressed that some of the recently enacted federal legislations including the National Commission on the Rights of Child Act-2017, Juvenile Justice System Act-2018 and the Prevention of Trafficking in Person Act-2018 are also relevant to the issue of child protection and should be taken into consideration before drafting a new federal law for the implementation of the CRC.
Another member of the committee, Ministry of Human Rights Director General (DG) Hassan Mangi said that since Pakistan is a signatory of more than eight human rights conventions, providing rights for children definitely need to be taken into consideration.
After a brief meeting with members of the special committee, the AGP asked all the members to come up with the draft which would be sent to the government through the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan for legislation.