The National Assembly in Wednesday’s session passed ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Bill’ aimed to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The lower house of parliament, with thin presence of lawmakers, unanimously adopted the bill, ‘which will go a long way to protect children in the children in the ICT’.

The ‘statement of objects and reasons of the bill’, moved by MNA Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar, says, “the bill has been drafted in compliance with constitutional provisions and the policy of the government to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.” It further mentioned that the provinces had their respective child protections laws and there was a need of separate legislation for the protection of children in ICT.

The legislation would envisage for establishment of a ‘Child Protection Advisor Board’ and ‘Child Protection Institutions’ for purpose of protection of child from abuse, maltreatment, exploitation, neglect and mental violence.

Within the enactment of the ACT, the ‘Child Protection Advisory Board’ shall establish within three months to be headed by Federal Secretary Ministry of Human Rights as its chairperson.

The Child Protection Advisory Board, says the bill, will advise the government on matters relating to policy, legislation and implementation of the rights f the child to protection and care contained in international laws and obligations.

Likewise, ‘A Child Protection Institution’ will receive reports of children who are in need of protection. The institution would also maintain a record of case management reports.

According to the clauses of the bill, the word ‘child’ means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen. The ‘child abuse’ means physical or mental violence , injury , exploitation, neglect or negligent treatment , maltreatment or sexual abuse.

The word ‘child exploitation’ including all types of exploitation prejudicial to the protection and care of a child including in terrorist activities, medical or scientific experimentation, sports or performing arts.

The word ‘mental violence’ means subjecting or exposing a child to scaring, terrorizing and threatening behaviour that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression etc.

The ‘neglect’ means failure on the part of natural or legal guardian or institution responsible for care of child.

The house also passed ‘the Juvenile Justice System Bill, 2017’ to modify and amend the laws relating to criminal justice system for juveniles by providing special focus on disposal of cases .

The clauses of bill moved by MNA Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar says, “Within three months of commencement of this Act, the concerned Sessions Judge shall establish the Juvenile Justice Committee for each sessions divisions,”

The word ‘best interest of the child’ means the basis for any decision taken regarding the child to ensure fulfillment of his basic right and needs, identity, social well-being etc.

The word ‘heinous offence’ means an offence which is serious, gruesome, brutal sensation in character or shocking to public morality.

 The clause regarding ‘determination of age’, says “Where a person alleged to have committed an offence physically appears or claims to be a juvenile for the purpose of this act and the officer-in-charge of the police shall make an enquiry to determine the age of such person”.

The clause ‘special provision for female juvenile’ , says ‘ No female shall in any circumstance to be apprehended by a male police officer or released on probation under supervision of a male officer.

The bill further says the committee will consist of four members to be headed by the serving judicial magistrate having district public prosecutor, member of the lower bar and serving probation officer or social welfare officer as its members.

The clause of the bill says “Juvenile may be charged with and tried together with an adult by the juvenile court if the court is satisfied that it is in the interest of justice to hold a joint trial. The court may also dispense with presence of the juvenile before it and may be allowed to joint proceedings through audio visual technology,”.

The house also passed ‘the National University of Technology, 2018, moved by Rana Tanver.

The National University of Technology (NUTECH) bill will provide for establishment of NUTECH in Islamabad introducing higher education. Ends.