Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to restrict under-18 marriages -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to restrict under-18 marriages

Child protection units to be established across districts

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government will impose restrictions on child marriages and forbid persons under the age of 18 from tying the knot, provincial government spokesman Mian Iftikhar Hussain said on Thursday.

The restrictions will come in the form of fresh legislation that will soon be tabled in the provincial assembly. The proposed legislation — the child protection and welfare ordinance – will be presented in the assembly’s next session, Hussain told reporters.

According to the spokesman, the legislation is aimed at ensuring that children’s rights are upheld. He also revealed that section 2 of the ordinance provides for the setting up of ‘Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Commission’, headed by the minister for social welfare and women development. The commission will also include members from public and civil society organisations.

The commission, he said, will have the authority to review all provincial laws and regulations affecting the status of children’s rights. The commission will also be responsible for monitoring the implementation and violations of laws related to child protection and will also establish, manage and control child protection units, Hussain informed reporters.

On Thursday, provincial Law Minister Arshad Abdullah, who is also a barrister, announced plans to set up child protection units at the district-level.

Each of these units will be headed by a district officer social welfare. The commission will also appoint child protection officers in each district, he said.

The child protection officer will be entitled to file a first information report against any person found guilty of committing an offence against any child, he added.
Source: The Express Tribune
Date:7/16/2010