LAHORE - Government must step forward to secure child rights in the country with a comprehensive legislation banning child marriages.
This was demanded by the human rights activists during a public debate at Lahore Press Club here on Tuesday. Bedari, an NGO, arranged the debate on the title “Demanding Law to eliminate child marriages”.
The speakers asked the government to ensure child rights protection by prescribing harsher punishments for the culprits of child marriages including the parents of bride and groom, the NikahKhwan, and the Nikah Registrar.
PTI MPA Dr Noshin Hamid said that there was need for legislation to stop child marriages but first the religio-political leaders should be taken on board. PML-N MPA Suraya Nasim said that child marriages were violation of the International Convention that had been signed by Pakistan. She added approximately half of Pakistani women were married before 18 years of age.
WISE ED Bushra Khalique said that poverty forced parents to get their minor daughters married without caring that it could ruin the child’s life.
Ahmed Raza Khan Shirkat Gah said that poverty forced parents to get their minor daughters married without caring that it could ruin the child’s life.
Saleem Malik, Executive Director Bedari during the event shared the aims and objectives of the campaign against Child Marriages.
Other participants identified some legal lacunas in the draft of the bill. They said that Computerized National Identity Card number of a girl and boy should be made mandatory for registering their marriage.