Senate, NA committees to discuss child protection rights
ISLAMABAD: Two committees of the National Assembly and Senate will next week take up the issue of the setting up of a national commission for protection of rights of the children.
The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights is scheduled to discuss the matter on Monday triggered by the child abuse in Kasur. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice will take up a government bill on the child rights commission on Thursday.
Besides discussing the Kasur incident and the national commission on child rights, members of the Senate’s human rights committee will also take up the issue of bringing security agencies under the umbrella of parliament.
The issue was referred to the committee by the Senate chairman when during a debate in the house, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar called for establishing a parliamentary oversight over the working of intelligence agencies.
The human rights committee is headed by Nasreen Jalil of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), who is among those eight party senators who had submitted their resignations from Senate to protest against alleged victimisation of the party by Rangers during an ongoing operation in Karachi.
An official of the Senate Secretariat said the meeting had not been cancelled and members could choose any member to preside over the meeting in the absence of Ms Jalil.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, under the chairmanship of Chaudhry Bashir Virk, is meeting on Thursday to take up a government bill titled “the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill, 2015”.
The bill was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed on behalf of Law Minister Pervez Rashid in the National Assembly on April 20.
The committee was to take up the same bill in its meeting last month, but it could not be taken up due to a lengthy agenda, prompting a protest by some civil society organisations over the delay in the passage of the bill.
The bill suggests formation of an independent commission comprising 18 members, including the chairperson, with powers of a civil court.