KARACHI: Deputy Speaker of Sindh Assembly, Shahla Raza said Protection of Child Rights as well as of women rights are not only among the essential components of PPP manifesto but are top priorities of the Sindh government too.
Talking to a delegation comprising activists as well asgovernment officials, pertaining to social welfare ministry of Indonesia, she said PPP is fully committed to honour its pledge and empower vulnerable sections of the society.
She said in compliance to their commitment the public representatives passed the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013 in April this year, declaring marriage below the age of 18 punishable by law.
“Sindh Assembly also holds the honour of passing bills against violence on women and early as well as forced marriages for the first time in the country’s history,” Shahla said.
She said the provincial assembly was currently working on bill against domestic violence.
With reference to protection of child rights, she referred to establishment of Child Protection Unit (CPU) at 12 cities in the province.
Edhi Suharto from Directorate for Child Social Welfare, Ministry of Social Welfare, Indonesia said violence against children both male and female is widely prevalent in the present world, Indonesia and Pakistan were no exception.
“Child marriages are one of the severest violation of human rights and it is very encouraging that the legislators of Sindh Assembly have managed to develop a law to protect children against the threat,” he said.
Suharato on the occasion said his delegation comprising senior officials from indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Indonesian state-run child helpline service “Tesa” was keen to get familiarize with the process of lawmaking from child rights perspective.
He thanked Madadgaar National Helpline for arranging and hosting his delegation’s visit to Pakistan.
Sindh Secretary for Social Welfare Shariq Ahmed was also present on the occasion.
Advocate Zia Ahmed Awan said the visit was part of the efforts of Madadgar National Helpline to bring together and develop a close network between the government and child rights’ organisations.
“Our focus is to eliminate child abuse from Asia and other parts of the world,” he said mentioning that Madadgaar is one of the founding members of Child Helpline International (CHI).
CHI was said to be the global network of 179 child helplines in 143 countries, which together receives over 14 million contacts a year from children and young people.