This is with reference to violence against children cases in Faisalabad, Haripur and Lahore and I am writing to get the attention of policymakers and federal and provincial legislators. Children are subjected to torture and abuse, including corporal punishment in schools, madrassas and at work places. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that like any civilised society, we need to legislate to respond the menace of corporal punishment across the country. Before the 18th Amendment, there was a Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill 2009 placed before the national assembly.
However, the bill could not be enacted due to various hurdles including the excuse of 18th constitutional amendment. Even if the national assembly cannot legislate for the whole country, at least it should be able to legislate for Islamabad capital territory. This will also help provinces to adopt certain legislation required for their respective province. Besides legislation, as far as schools and madrassas are concerned, teachers’ training is very important. The provincial and regional teachers training institutes should incorporate alternatives to corporal punishment and other teaching techniques in their curricula. Furthermore, an awareness raising campaign should be initiated, involving civil society, media, including FM Radio, street theatre, etc, to educate masses about the negative effects of corporal punishment on children.
Islamabad, May 24.