KHH suggested / modified Sindh Child Protection Act

KHH Vision, Goals & Targets
February 25, 2019
KHH Proposed ZARRA Bill
February 25, 2019

 

 

THE SINDH CHILD PROTECTION AUTHORITY ACT, 2011.

SINDH ACT NO: XIV OF 2011    AN ACT to provide for the establishment of an Authority known as the Sindh Child Protection Authority.

 

 

Whereas the Constitution recognizes the inviolability of life, liberty and dignity of a person as the fundamental rights;

And Whereas in recognition of the Constitution’s fundamental rights, it is obligatory on the Government of Pakistan (both Federal and Provincial) to make provisions for ensuring the right to life and protection from abuse, abduction, or exploitation of children under the age of 18, as envisaged under various national and international “Rights of the Child “laws, conventions, covenants and instruments.

 

And Whereas it is in believe that the first few hours of a missing or abducted child u7nder the age of 18 are critical and may result in abduction, trafficking, rape or death, it becomes essential  to have a system of raising alert for missing children before harm comes to them.

 

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the establishment of an Authority  and to ensure the rights of the Children in need of special protection measures and to provide for matters ancillary thereto:-

It is hereby enacted as follows :-

  1. (1) This Act may be called the Sindh Child Protection Authority Act, 2011 as amended in  2019,

 

(2) It shall come into force at once.

 

  1. In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context –

 

(a) “Authority” means the Sindh Child Protection Authority established under this Act;

 

(b) “Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Authority;

 

(c) “Child in need of special protection measures” includes a child who is:

 

(i) is victim of violence, abuse and exploitations;

(ii) is subjected to physical and psychological violence, sexual abuse or commercial sexual exploitation;

(iii)is forced into the worst forms of the child labour, exploitative labour, or

beggary;

(iv)is subject to human trafficking within and outside Pakistan;

(v) is being misused for drug trafficking or is subjected to abuse of substances like glue drugs, spirit;

(vi) is engaged in an armed conflict;

(vii) is a child without primary care givers; and

(viii) is affected or infected with HIV aids;

(ix) is considered a “missing child”, which is defined as any child under the age of 18 who is reported  to the police or any Child Protection institution or “Missing Child Alert, Response and Recovery Office”  or Child protection unit or Child protection officer of the Sindh Government or any other ‘missing child’ reporting centre established by the government of Sindh,  as missing or abducted,   because his / her  whereabouts are  not  known to  his/her parents or legal guardians regardless of circumstances  and  causes  of disappearance or time elapsed since the child went  missing.

 

 

 

  1. (1)   For the purposes of this Act, the Authority shall have powers-

After Section 10. (1)(r ), add the following:

 

(s) to establish a missing child alert and response system as defined at Appendix A of this Act, and to oversee its effective implementation.

(t) to create the provision of mandatory registration of FIR on every reported case of a missing child.

(u) to create a missing child data base and management information system and prepare annual reports.

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

to

THE SINDH CHILD PROTECTION AUTHORITY ACT, 2011. SINDH ACT NO: XIV OF 2011 AN ACT

 

To make provisions for raising alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children

 

 

  1. Objective:

As the first few hours of a missing or abducted child under the age of 18 are critical, and may result in harm, trafficking, rape or death, it becomes essential to legislate an institutional response including but not limited to the introduction of systems with respect to raising alerts, as well as the response and recovery of Missing and Abducted Children.

 

  1. Definitions:

 

  1. “Alert System”; An alert system established under this Act.
  2. “Abductor”: means a person, a group of persons or an organization who

abducts a child.

d). “Abduction”:  means, “ whoever by or compels, or by any deceitful means induces any child under 18 to go from any place to another.

  1. “Code”; means the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 (Act V of 1898).
  2. “Child”; means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years at the time of commission of the offence or when discovered to be missing or abducted.
  3. “Response and Recovery ” means all those actions that must be taken by the government, Child protection Institution, “Missing Child Alert, Response and Recovery Offices”, Child protection units, child protection officers, police, local government, telecommunication companies, state and privately-owned media channels,  airports, railway stations, highway authorities, Missing Child Response and Recovery Teams or any other organisation that is assigned a task under this Act.

These include all those required actions that may include (but not limited to) search, investigation, forensics, coordination and dispatch of specially trained teams to rescue, recover and bring the missing or abducted child to safety.

  1. f) “Missing child”; means any child under the age of 18 who is reported to the police or any Child Protection institution or “Missing Child Alert, Response and Recovery Office” or Child protection unit or Child protection officer of the Sindh Government or any other ‘missing child’ reporting centre established by the government of Sindh, as missing or abducted,  because his / her  whereabouts are  not  known to  his/her parents or legal guardians regardless of circumstances  and  causes  of disappearance or time elapsed since the child went

 

 

  1. Establishment of Framework of Child  Alert, Response and 

           Recovery (MCARR) system.

a).   The Sindh Child Protection Authority, shall establish an office of   Missing Child Alert, Response and Recovery (MCARR) at its Head Office in Karachi.   MCARR  shall  have branches (which may be co-located, if required) with Child Protection Units in each district of the province.

b). The MCARR offices shall be open 24 hours, seven days a week.

c). The Sindh Child Protection Units and Missing Child Alert Response and Recovery office (MCARR) will coordinate with and support other similar Provincial or Federal organisations on Alerts, Response and Recovery of missing children.

 

 

 

  1. Functions relating to raising a Missing Child Alert:

a).  The Sindh Child Protection Authority will organise a system to activate Missing Child Alerts at the district or provincial level. An alarm system will be  activated whenever a Missing Child report is received by any MCARR office, Child protection Unit or Police or any other “Missing Child“ reporting centre established by the government of Sindh. These alerts will include information on the physical characteristics of the missing or abducted child as well as any other data that would help in the child’s identification, so as to inform the public at large and all concerned agencies to whom these alerts will target.

 

b). Sindh Child Protection Authority will define procedures for how, when, with what frequency and in what geographical territory the missing or abducted child alert will be raised and also the timings and mechanisms for upgrading the alert from District to Provincial levels.

 

c).   Sindh Child Protection Authority will coordinate with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for issue of Missing Child Alert SMSs, MMSs, tickers on TV channels and announcements on radio stations and alerts on social media as well as postings on relevant websites.

 

d). Sindh Child Protection Authority will provide province-wide telephonic hotline number such as 911, accessible to all Provincial Missing Child branches, where any person can report a missing or abducted child. The same number can also be used by any member of the public who has any information relating to the missing or abducted child.

 

e).  Missing Child Alert SMS/MMS Pro Bono Service by State and Private Media and Telecommunication Companies: All Media and Telecommunication companies – print, broadcast or digital – such as newspapers, radio stations, TV channels and internet sites operating in Sindh shall provide free access to sending and receiving Missing Child Alerts and are required to immediately cooperate with the Sindh Child Protection Authority to setup an Alert System.

 

 

  1. Functions relating to Response and recovery of missing and abducted children.

The Sindh Child Protection Authority shall ensure the following functions:

  1. Registration of FIR: The concerned Police Station shall be legally bound to register an FIR on every reported incident of a Missing or Abducted Child where  his/her  whereabouts are  not known to his/her parents or legal guardians regardless of circumstances and  causes of disappearance or time elapsed since the child went missing.  Recording of FIR for a Missing or Abducted child is mandatory and must be done immediately when a case is reported.   Failure to register a Missing Child FIR will result in penalties and fines, for the concerned police officials, as per existing police rules.

 

  1. Establish, with the help of Police and investigation agencies, Missing Child Response and Recovery teams (MCRRTs) at each district levels. These teams will consist of individuals highly trained in functions such as investigation, forensics, rapid response, search, rescue and recovery Every MCRRT will be headed by a senior police officer of the rank of SP or above and will also include a provincial Child Protection Officer, and a nominated citizen with suitable expertise  to help the working of MCRRT.
  2. The police station where a case of missing or abducted child is reported shall immediately and no later than 60 minutes after the FIR is filed, inform the Provincial and District MCARR office of the Missing Child incident and keep providing latest status of the case and all available details. The Missing or abducted child database is a shared database, maintained by the MCARR Head Office, any new case entered in any district of the province is simultaneously available and known to all MCARR offices for their respective actions.
  3. The Police station where a missing or abducted child case is reported, registers FIR and immediately begins investigation and search for the missing child.
  4. The Police station simultaneously calls in and informs the District Missing Child Rescue and Response Team (MCRRT) of the Missing Child event and provides all possible information and support to the MCRRT team.
  5. The District MCRRT springs into action and immediately launches, with the help of local police, the investigation, search, rescue and recovery operations.
  6. In case MCARR Head office or District office receives a direct complaint of a missing or abducted child, it shall coordinate immediately with the local police station and the District MCRRTs to ensure all actions relating to Missing Child Alert, Response and Recovery are initiated. This includes registering of an FIR at the concerned Police Station on behalf of the complainant.

 

 

  1. Functions related to Missing Child Management Information System

 

a). The Child Protection Authority shall establish a Missing Child Management Information System to be maintained by MCARR Head Office.  This database will be shared by all District MCARR offices and have the latest and updated data and status of all reported cases of missing children in the province.  This shall include the case data, the actions taken and the final outcome.

 

b). This database shall be monitored for accuracy and kept current at all times.  The website containing this database shall be accessible to public. The Sindh Child Protection Authority shall define procedures for who, how and when a missing or abducted child event will be brought on the MCARR database

 

c). MCARR Head Office shall analyse the performance of MCARR system, evaluate its effectiveness and take actions to continually improve its performance.

 

 

  1. Funding and Staffing of the MCARR offices:  Being a core and critical child protection function, the funding for all MCARR offices, staff and activities shall be provided by the Sindh Child Protection Authority.

 

 

  1. Offences and Penalties :

a). Whoever commits an offence of abduction or kidnapping on a child under the age of 18 years,  in order that such a child  may be murdered, or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery, or rape, or to the lust of any person;  or that such a abducted or kidnapped child may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered, or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery, or rape, or to the lust of any person shall be punished with death or with rigorous imprisonment for life, along with Rs.10 million in fine.

 

b). Whoever wilfully causes death of any child under the age of 18 years, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment of life along with and Rs. 15 million in fine.

 

c). Whoever commits rape of any child under the age of 18 years shall be punished with death or imprisonment not less than 20 years and a fine of Rs.15 million.

 

d). Whoever causes grievous bodily harm or injury to any child shall be punished with imprisonment for minimum 10 years and a fine of Rs. 5 Million.

 

  1. e) Whoever causes physical harm, torture or injury to any child shall be punished with imprisonment for minimum 10 years and a fine of Rs. 5 Million.

 

f).  Whoever does anything that exposes a child to grievous bodily harm or injury shall be punished with imprisonment for 8 years with mandatory Rs. 3 million in fine.

 

 

  1. “Changes in Law”:

 

a). Sindh Police Act shall be suitably amended to include the mandatory requirement of raising an FIR on every reported incident of a Missing or Abducted Child where his/her  whereabouts are  not known to his/her parents or legal guardians regardless of circumstances and  causes of disappearance or time elapsed since the child went missing.  Recording of FIR for a Missing or Abducted child is mandatory and must be done immediately when a case is reported.

  1. b) The Sindh Police Act shall be suitably amended to include provision for formation of Missing Child Response and Recovery teams (MCRRT) at each district.

 

  1. Power to make rules;

the Sindh government thru Child Protection Authority shall make rules to integrate all functionaries and to carry out the purpose of Appendix A to THE SINDH CHILD PROTECTION AUTHORITY ACT, 2011. SINDH ACT NO: XIV OF 2011    in an efficient and effective manner.