SHRC & NCRC convene consultation
KARACHI: The Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in collaboration with National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) convened a consultation workshop titled “Implementation of Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act-2013″ on Thursday, October 06, 2022 at local Hotel Karachi, says a Press release.
The purpose of the consultation was to identify the gaps in Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013 & Rules 2016, to discuss the challenges in implementation of law, infrastructural and institutional needs, possible collaborations, and suggested a way forward to address such gaps and impediments in the law and its implementation.
Although the Sindh government has the credit for becoming the country’s first elected assembly to have passed a bill on child marriages in April 2014, which places a ban on marriage of children under 18 years and makes it a violation punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to three years, sadly the law is still poorly implemented.
On the occasion, Justice (Retd) Majida Razvi, Chairperson, Sindh Human Rights Commission welcomed all the guests. She said that child marriages prevail in the whole country. In Sindh, role of police is cooperative and they are trying their level best to implement the act in befitted manner. Sindh is the only province who has the Child Marriage act and there is a need of the Uniformity of the age in whole of the country which should be 18 for girls and boys.
Zulifqar Shah, Member SHRC shared that Pakistan is the 6th largest country where the girls married below the age of 15.
Jawadullah Khan, Member KP National Commission on the Rights of Child and representing the Chairperson said NCRC’s main function is examining existing laws. He remarked that NCRC reviewed 7 key child related laws (In 4 provinces and ICT). NCRC has looked at lacunae in these laws and NCRC is making its efforts to reform laws in whole provinces and ICT. He suggested that child-related laws should be alien to UNCRC. Similarly, for SCMRA he emphasized identifying gaps in implementation from this consultation and suggested amendments in law.
Iqbal Ahmed Detho, Member Sindh National Commission on the Rights of Child gave an overview on Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013 and Rules of Business, 2016. Detho pointed out that earlier SCMRA-1929 in definitions contained the word “Minor” that has been deleted in current law of SCMRA-2013. Though age has been unified for both male and female as adulthood but minor was providing shield against puberty argument