Islamabad: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem has said that the Government is taking steps to improve and devise laws, especially the ones that affect lives of children and women in Pakistan. He was talking to children at the launch of “Artivism for Child Justice” campaign, organized by Group Development Pakistan (GDP), a non-profit organization that focuses on promotion and implementation of Child Rights across Pakistan, on Wednesday.
The Law Minister said there are fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan but the awareness regarding these rights is necessary in order to get benefit from them. The Minister praised the idea of awareness through visual arts and truck art and said children should be aware of their rights. The children of today are equipped by media and social media and have more knowledge than the previous generation, he said. While the children should be aware of their rights, role of the adults is of a more crucial nature as they have to ensure implementation of the laws and they have to educate the children. He said we have Juvenile Justice Statute of 2018, we have statutes regarding child labour and the Zainab Alert Bill, recently approved by the National Assembly Committee.
The Law Minister thanked Ms. Valerie Khan, the Executive Director, GDP for her work on child rights. He said he will welcome any help from any NGO that wants to contribute to Child Justice in Pakistan. He said the Women Action Plan spearheaded by Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Maleeka Bukhari is not only going to have a positive impact on the lives of women but will impact the lives of the kids as well.
Later during an interactive session with the children, Dr. Farogh Naseem said the safety of the children is so close to my heart and I assure you that the child courts will be established in all parts of Pakistan soon. Answering a question regarding child labour and child marriage, he said these practices can only be dealt with if each individual participates to identify them; same is the case when a child is tortured. Everyone has to play a role and provide information where it is required. He said the rules of Child Juvenile Act will be drafted soon.
Political Counsellor at British High Commission, Ms. Iona Thomas, also addressed the event and distributed certificates among the artists at the center of Activism campaign through truck art. Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Ms. Maleeka Bukhari was also present at the occasion.