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NCHR screens documentary on domestic child trafficking.

ISLAMABAD -- The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) screened a 15-minute documentary titled 'Trafficking', which shows how children are trafficked from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and forced into labour at the Gaddani ship breaking yard, working long hours for barely minimum wages which can hardly buy a decent meal.

The NCHR screened the documentary in order to bring into notice international and domestic child trafficking, which representatives of the commission say still goes unchecked in many countries, especially Pakistan.

One of the reasons for this, NCHR representatives said, was the lack of an understanding of the dynamics and complexities of human trafficking.

Though it was made in 2005, the commission said the documentary was as relevant today for drawing the attention of the government and lawmakers for enforcing laws and making necessary amendments to strengthen them.

The documentary was followed by a discussion where speakers stressed on identifying gaps in policies and emphasised on political will for ensuring the rights of children. The consultation aimed to gather the views of civil society organisations, law practitioners, parliamentarians and representatives from government departments for resolving the issue.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Kishwar Zehra suggested considering socio-economic conditions when making laws for the protection of child rights and also stressed on re-visiting family planning laws.

Legal expert and consultant for the Ministry of Human Rights Sharafat Ali Awan criticised successive governments for not enforcing the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000 which deals with how children accused of committing crimes were treated by the authorities and in preventing them from becoming serious offenders.

The roles of all departments, such as the Federal Investigation Agency and the Child Protection Bureau were also discussed. Participants agreed on the need for a national child protection policy and training for all concerned departments on the laws available. They said what is equally important is to identify mafias and dealing with them. Internal trafficking has to be criminalised, one of the speakers said.

Participants agreed that existing laws should be implemented and amendments should be made and that Article 25-A should be enforced.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Aug 10, 2017
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