NGOs demand Child Protection Authority

KARACHI: Several child rights organistaion on Thursday condemned a recent incident of torturing 10-year-old boy, Harish, in Karachi and demanded of the Sindh government to immediately establish a Child Protection Authority. They also demanded to form an independent medical board to assess the condition of the injured child.

Speaking to media Zia Ahmed Awan of Madadgar National Helpline said that whenever incidents of child abuse occurred, it was media and civil rights organizations who led the campaign while government and its functionaries react after the incidents were broadcast on media. “We do not know which department of the government is responsible to tackle these cases.”

Awan said that there was no law which bars child abuse and therefore the police was not able to register cases in this regard. “Majority of the child abuse cases is not registered and those registered take more than 24-hours which facilitates the accused to pressurize the family and the victim.”

He said that the government should immediately establish a child protection authority and all concerned departments and NGOs should be made part of it.

Devcon’s Madni Memon said that soon after the devolution of powers to provinces after the 18th amendment, it was the responsibility of the provincial government to made laws regarding child protection but unfortunately the provinces are not ready for it.

He said that Sindh Assembly had passed an act in this regard but the ministries concerned were not able to form a child protection authority. “Government should immediately amend present laws and policies in relation to child labour and child abuse.”

Memon said that if the government would not take responsibility of heirless children, these children would not be able to become good citizens and will choose path of crime. He said that every child has a right to basic education under article 25-A of the constitution. “It will need 16 years for a child to acquire basic education and if this law is implemented none of the child would be forced for labour.”

He condemned the torture incident of 10-year-old boy and said that many parents and relatives send their children to unknowing violent and cruel households due to poverty and hunger for money. “As a result children become victims of illegal confinement, sexual harassment and abuse, torture and other kinds of violence.”

Madadgar National Helpline official Bushra Syed said that the 10-year-old Harish was tortured and pushed from fifth floor of the building. She said that child had suffered from head and leg injuries but the medico-legal report was forged as it stated that the child had no injuries.

She blamed that Medico-legal officer of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Jagdesh Kumar, had formed a forged report in order to save the accused, who was also a doctor by profession. She further blamed police for only adding attempt to murder clause in FIR and neglecting detention by the family.

Other speakers that include Abdullah Langa from SPARC and Rana Asif from Initiator Human Development Foundation also addressed the media and demanded government to make laws against child abuse and torture and implement on it.

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