Fact-finding report shows child protection bills remain pending in parliament
ISLAMABAD: Police showed ineptitude and failed to take action over the horrific Kasur child abuse case, which amounts to not only criminal negligence but also connivance, the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) has said.
The NCHR released on Monday a report by a fact-finding committee that it had formed soon after the Kasur child abuse case.
“The Kasur episode is a clear manifestation of the decadence in our moral values and a failure of political, and religious leadership, law enforcing agencies, and neighborhood watch,” the committee’s chairperson Chief Justice (retd.) Ali Nawaz Chowhan said at the news conference. He suggested that sociologists must diagnose the causes of these failures in an Islamic society and propose curative measures so that recurrence of such incidents can be checked.
In the report, the NCHR has asked the Punjab Police chief to investigate the callous ineptitude and criminal negligence in preventing child sexual abuse in Kasur and prosecute all those who were involved and responsible. NCHR said that it will monitor the proceedings and sought a progress report from Punjab Chief Secretary on a monthly basis on the proceedings of the joint investigation committee under his command. The Punjab Prosecutor General has been asked to appoint well-trained and experienced prosecutors and that his office monitors the progress on legal and judicial proceedings.
The NCHR also observed that Pakistan lacks an internationally-accepted rights-based child protection mechanism at the national, provincial, and local levels. The commission has also strongly recommended that the federal government take steps for the expeditious passage of pending bills that pertain to child protection in the country. The laws included in the report are Criminal Laws Amendment Bill 2009, National Commission on the Rights of Children Bill 2009, and The Charter on the Child Rights Bill 2009. It also recommended that the federal government check flaws in the Police Act of 2002.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2015.