Punjab govt taking steps to curb child abuse: Minister

LAHORE, Nov 26 (APP): Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on Thursday said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was taking concrete steps to curb child sexual abuse.

He was speaking as a chief guest at a workshop on child sexual abuse here. Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights Ejaz Alam Augustine, Chairperson Child Protection Bureau (CPB) Sarah Ahmed, Country Coordinator Muslim Charity UK Zubair Shah and representatives of civil society also attended the workshop, organized by the Punjab CPB in association with Muslim Charity UK.

Raja Basharat said that increase in the incidents of child sexual abuse in the last few years was a matter of concern, so it was welcome to hold this workshop on the causes of child sexual abuse and measures to prevent it.

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He said stricter laws were being introduced for perpetrators of sexual violence against children and women. As per the ordinance brought on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the harshest punishments had been laid down, he added.

He said that the earlier Zainab Alert law was also an important step of their government in this direction. Raja Basharat said the Punjab government had centralized the one-five call system for immediate police action.

He said there were all laws in Pakistan but they were not implemented effectively. He lamented that the society created difficulties instead of facilities for the affected children and families.

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The Law Minister said that parents, teachers, media and civil society should work together to eradicate this social evil. He said that awareness of all including children, parents, teachers along with strict rules was very important.

The recommendations of the workshop would definitely be incorporated in the new legislation, he assured.

Ejaz Alam Augustine suggested that awareness material on prevention of sexual abuse of children be included in the curriculum, while Sarah Ahmed said that certain sections/clauses to protect the abused child and family should be included in new and old laws.

At the end of the workshop, Raja Basharat distributed certificates among the participants.