Enforcement of Child Protection Bill urged -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Enforcement of Child Protection Bill urged

ISLAMABAD – The participants at a media consultation meeting held on Wednesday has demanded of the new government to enforce Child Protection Bill so that Section 89 of the PPC could be repealed which has led to 50 percent drop out rate from schools.

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) had organised the consultation on “Consequences of Corporal Punishment” where the participants urged to prepare a code of ethics for teachers and the school administration.

They stressed the policy should have a monitoring component to check corporal punishment in schools and the government should have its own monitoring mechanisms for at least the public schools to curb the practice of corporal punishment. Teachers found guilty of injuring or causing death of a child should be dealt with according to the law of the land.

Executive Director of SPARC Qindeel Shujaat said, “It is sad and tragic that child labour, an outrage against humanity, is still a dark reality in the country and laws have failed to make any definite impact on protecting rights of children”, he added. He said a huge number of children are out of schools with no access to education.

Discussing the causes and consequences of corporal punishment, National Manager Promotion Fazila Gulrez said the prevalence of corporal punishment can be attributed to the wide acceptance of using punishment as the only means to discipline an errant child.

Corporal punishment in Pakistan has made lawful through section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which empowers parents, teachers and other guardians to use corporal punishment as a means to discipline and correct the behaviour of children under the age of twelve. The speakers remarked that this widely accepted and justified violation of child right leaves serious consequences on the development of a child as a healthy, confident and valued person in the society.

Humeria Butt, SPARC School Project Co-ordinator, opined that there were alternatives to corporal punishment, which could prove effective in disciplining the child without injuring his/her self-respect, dignity and value. She said it is important that the adverse consequences of corporal punishment should be understood at the home, in schools, at community and at the governmental level, to ban this bane of corporal punishment. It was revealed at the meeting that two major fallout of corporal punishment in schools and homes is 50 percent dropout rate from schools, one of the highest in the world, and the ever-growing population of runaway children on the street.
Source: The Nation
Date:5/1/2008