In the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, laws have been made for the protection and education of children, but they have not been implemented. One of the consequences of not making rules is the increase in the crime rate among minor children.
During the year 2022, a total of 329 children were arrested for committing various crimes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 265 of these children were accused of murder, attempted murder, rape, theft, robbery and other serious crimes. Several reasons have been identified for the increase in the rate of juvenile offenders involved in such crimes in the province, including lack of parental guardianship and lack of cooperation between law enforcement agencies and child welfare agencies. Included.
Not taking all social stakeholders into confidence before enactment and lack of awareness on the part of child protection agencies are also cited as major reasons for the increase in the rate of such crimes. Critics say that instead of working at the grassroots level, government and non-governmental organizations working to protect children hold workshops and seminars in expensive hotels and run their campaigns through major publishing houses to get financial support. To get the attention of institutions.
The rural population is completely ignored
80% of the population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lives in rural areas. These citizens are often ignorant about children’s rights. Most of the children in these rural areas are also deprived of basic education and health facilities. The situation is worse in the former tribal areas which have now been made a regular part of the province.
In these new districts, more than 70 percent of children between the ages of five and ten are out of school. According to a non-governmental organization, the number of out-of-school children in the province is 7.4 million.
What do the police say?
Additional Inspector General of Provincial Police Muhammad Ali Babakhel says, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the first province in the country to have enacted a law called the Police Act 2017, which also includes provisions regarding the protection of women and children. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police has developed a formal procedure for investigating child abusers.
However, AIG Babakhel while talking to DW added, “Pakistan is probably the most legislative country. But the legislators do not even look back after making the laws. Neither homework is done before legislation is enacted, nor is there a system to ensure its practical implementation or to analyze its consequences after legislation is enacted.”
According to Mohammad Ali Babakhel, “If a child is doing wrong, we look to public institutions. Parents should also give time to their children. Keep track of their activities. Especially cyber crimes are increasing with us. It also needs attention.”
Some time ago, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly also made a law to conduct thalassemia test for men and women before marriage regarding free education, free housing, free legal aid and birth of healthy children, but till date this law has been implemented. No rules and regulations could be fixed for import also.
What do legal experts say?
Speaking to DW, Noor Alam Khan, a Peshawar High Court lawyer who has been trying to bring justice to juvenile accused in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said, “This region has been in the grip of war for four decades. A large number of children became orphans. During the war against terrorism, all rights of children were also negated. There are laws in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but there is a lack of awareness about them.
Noor Alam Khan further said that many parents also cannot fulfill their responsibilities, do not train their children in such a way that they can become useful members of the society. Effective measures should also be taken for training. It is also very important that innocent children are not exploited under the guise of crime. If the children are not given proper training and the society does not give these children their rights, then these children become enemies of the whole society.
Child Protection Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
In Peshawar, the provincial government passed the Child Protection Act in 2010, but the rules and regulations were introduced five years later. Ijaz Muhammad Khan, Head of Child Protection Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told DW, “We have formed more than 1,000 committees in rural and urban areas, whose task is to spread awareness against child exploitation and to protect children.” Also reporting incidents to the Centre.”
Ejaz Muhammad Khan said, “We have solved cases against about 4,000 children so far.” We were also able to intervene in several cases of child marriage and prevent such incidents. There were also children among them, whose parents had died. But there is also a problem that there are still loopholes in the relevant law, due to which the police cannot intervene in every such incident.
Eight of the courts currently hearing cases against children in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In case of emergencies regarding children in this province, one can also make an immediate complaint on the helpline by calling the telephone number 1121.
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