ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education after struggling for three years has finally managed to submit the much-awaited Child Protection (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill to the cabinet for its approval, TheNation has learnt. According to the well-placed sources, although the Ministry has submitted the proposed Bill to the cabinet but unfortunately it would not be placed on the cabinet upcoming meetings agenda. As in the cabinet meeting, the National Education Policy is going to be discussed so it is being anticipated that the Bill along with the National Child Protection Policy and the National Commission on the Rights of Children Bill will be discussed in the cabinets next meeting to be held after the upcoming meeting sources maintained. It took around three years to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education to complete both the Child Protection Policy and Child Protection Bill. All the formalities regarding finalisation of the Bill were completed but delay in moving the bill occurred due to the Punjab government, which lately forwarded its concurrence on the said Bill sources continued. Soon after having inputs from the Punjab government, the Ministry submitted the summary to the cabinet as it wants to get it approved as soon as possible sources further informed. Sources explained that earlier, the delay was caused by the previous regime, which directed the Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education to first come up with a Child Protection Policy and later to formulate Child Protection Bill at a time when the Bill was almost in final phase. So eventually the intervention forced the Ministry to stop work on the proposed Bill and it started formulating the National Child Protection Policy sources added. However, sources were of the view that the delay has proved to be good for the Ministry, as during that time it would also get back the Child Protection Policy from the Finance Division and would also be able to submit the National Child Protection policy. The Child Protection Bill if passed, will be implemented only in Islamabad Capital Territory, whereas the National Child Protection Policy when approved will be extended all over the country. Child Protection Bill has been formulated, as the existing laws were limited in scope and also ambiguous to provide protection to the children vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and exploitation. Child Protection Bill is aimed at harmonisation of the national legislation with international frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child etc. The bill will help in improving the plight of millions of children living under difficult circumstances as child sexual abuse is the lowest explored and least acknowledged form of child abuse in Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that around 78 types of laws exist in Pakistan that in a way or other protect child rights but still there is no such particular law that directly and fully provides protection to the 8 million Pakistani children.