PESHAWAR, Dec 22: Speakers at a conference here on Thursday called upon the government to implement the laws for protection of child rights in the tribal areas.

They said that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) was a part of Pakistan, but there had been no efforts to fully implement the laws concerning the rights of children and women.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar told the participants that improving child rights in Fata was priority of the government.

The daylong conference on “Child rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata” was organised by the Society for Protection of the Rights of Child (Sparc).

The governor said that militancy was the major hurdle to development in Fata where schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions were seriously affected by it.

“The children have suffered a lot and with this in mind serious steps are under way for promotion of educational and healthcare facilities in Fata,” he said. He assured coordination between the government departments and the civil society for implementation of laws for protection of the rights of children.

Sparc executive director Arshad Mahmood hailed the enactment of the Child Protection and Welfare Act by the provincial government and said that the law should be fully implemented.

Provincial minister for social welfare Sitara Ayaz said that child protection units had been set up in eight districts and eventually such units would be established in all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She said that so far 1,540 cases had been registered at these units, of 941 cases were decided or closed.

Country director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Andre Huber said that the agency was willing to cooperate with the government and civil society for the promotion of child rights.

Journalist Shams Momand said that the recent reforms in Fata were just eyewash. He claimed that under the Action (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation 2011, introduced in Fata, even death could be awarded, which was not even the case under the FCR.

Pakistan Society of Criminology president Fasihuddin said that the traditional policing had failed to solve problems related to the disadvantaged groups like women and children.

He said that with his efforts two separate registers were introduced in all police stations of the province for registering cases related to women and children.

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