Children Laws in Pakistan

By Seerat Fatima

Society is a place where we live and grow. Sometimes that society depends upon us while sometimes we depend upon that society. That society is not only made by us but also the other people who are living around us. In a society, some laws are implemented to make it move in consistent flow, some rules are set to keep the society in shape and some principles are made to keep it in working order. So, everyone, who implemented them and on whom they are implemented, must aware of them.  Let’s take a look at our surroundings what you come to know that a big part of that society is made by children. Children who are innocent and children who needs to be protected. Children who are honest and their honesty needs to be unharmed. In this era of fast moving technology, rapidly changing trends and consistently breaking relations, children need to be aware of their rights and laws that provide them by their country’s administrators in order to live a better life.

In Pakistan, there are many such laws implemented time to time to facilitate a life to the children which they deserve. Question is what is the most important birth right of a child? Simple, that is education. For a living, every born child must understand the way to earn “Roti, Kapra and Makaan’’ (food, clothes and shelter). Children must learn from initial stage in order to become a responsible citizen or somehow learn to earn for future. There are laws regarding child education which were implemented and enforced by the government. While ARTICLE 25A of the constitution clearly states that it is the responsibility of the government to support free education for every child from the age of 5-16 years. THE PUNJAB COMPULSORY EDUCATION ACT 1994, also serves the purpose. Education is a born right of all children. We can’t snatch that from them. But in Pakistan, the illiteracy rate is very high. People prefer to make children earn from the early stages to raise their family by earning but again the question comes that why? Answer is again simple, what other options do they have sighting the current inflation rate, but it is not money every time, sometimes it happens just because of unawareness and illiteracy. ARTICLE 11 of the constitution clearly states that child labour is not allowed and RESTRICTION OF CHILD LABOUR ACT 1890 also support the matter. While there is also an act EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN RULES 1995 that states some rules regarding child labour. Education and labour are not the only issues a child is born with.

Early child marriges another taboo attached with Pakistani children. This mal practice is engraved in certain sections of our society. In tribal areas of Pakistan, child marriage is a common custom. Children are forced to commit themselves in a relationship they don’t even understand. To stop such violence, THE CHILD MARRIAGE RESTRAINT ORDINANCE 1971 was implemented. Now a days children need to understand what is going around them and to have enough knowledge of their basic rights. A trend of child abuse is also establishing its roots in our society. It is not a shame to discuss such matters with them but this is for their own safety. Laws against child abuse are also there. Awareness about their health, education, and life is a right of them.

A better nourishment is what they deserve, the question, “Jub Khila Nahi Saktay Tou Paida Kyo Kerty Ho?’’ needs to be answered. Health of the children is the health of the nation. THE CHILD NUTRITION ACT 2002 serves the purpose in this regard. A healthy surrounding is made by the healthy mind, bodies and souls. So our surroundings will be made by the children, their protection is our duty and obligation. Their innocence, honesty, childhood and upbringing must be protected in order to make them a better citizen and to secure the future of our coming generation. We must know that As You Sow, So Shall You Reap.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt