NA body to take up ‘Zainab Alert’ and other bills

Updated 16 Dec 2019

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The draft proposes that instead of reporting a missing child to five or six different departments, the government should introduce a one-window facility where missing children cases can be reported. — APP/File
The draft proposes that instead of reporting a missing child to five or six different departments, the government should introduce a one-window facility where missing children cases can be reported. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights will take up several bills including the ‘Zainab Alert’ bill that it has been deliberating over for several months now.

In the last meeting of the committee in October, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had expressed the hope that the bill would soon be tabled in the National Assembly.

Once the bill is passed by parliament, it will pave the way for setting up Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Agency where missing child cases will be reported and which will generate an automatic alert.

The bill will also introduce a response and recovery mechanism of missing children to prevent incidents like the murder of Zainab, a nine-year old from Kasur.

In the past, most members of the committee opposed rigorous imprisonment until death for sexual assault of children.

A few members did, however, believe that rigorous imprisonment with a death sentence was a fitting punishment for individuals sexually assaulting two, three and four-year-old children.

The draft proposes that instead of reporting a missing child to five or six different departments, the government should introduce a one-window facility where missing children cases can be reported.

Members will also consider the observation made by Ministry of Law and Justice on a report of the Committee on the ICT Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2019. The draft bill for persons with disabilities proposes better facilities in public and private buildings along with various other benefits.

Besides consideration of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment Bill 2019) moved by MNA Syed Fakhar Imam and referred to the committee on Oct 1, 2019, members will also look into the ICT Senior Citizens Bill that was referred to the committee in November.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2019