PESHAWAR, Oct 22: Governor Masood Kausar has extended the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act, 2010 to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) after the president’s approval.

A notification in this respect was issued by the provincial home and tribal affairs department on Monday, making crimes against children punishable in Pata.

Under Article 247 of the Constitution, the laws enacted by parliament and provincial assembly are not applicable to Pata unless the governor orders its extension to such areas with the prior approval of the president.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act (CPWA) was approved by the provincial assembly on Sept 21, 2010. The governor assented to it on Oct 29, 2010.

Now, after almost two years, the government has extended it to Pata, including Swat, Chitral, Buner, Shangla, Malakand, Upper and Lower Dir districts.

Under the act, child sexual abuse, child trafficking, corporal punishment, child begging, sale of child organs and child pornography have been declared penal offences.

According to it, if a person is found guilty of dealing in organs of a child, he or she is liable to be sentenced to death or imprisonment for life, and fine up to Rs1 million.

Similarly, anyone found involved in child trafficking will be punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment not less than 14 years.

Corporal punishment is punishable up to six months of imprisonment or with fine up to Rs50,000 or both.

Moreover, the offence of child sexual abuse carries punishment up to 14 years imprisonment and fine up to Rs1 million.

Similarly, child pornography is punishable up to seven years imprisonment and minimum sentence of three years imprisonment with fine of Rs0.5 million.

In the law, the issue of privacy of ‘child at risk’ has also been addressed.

A person found involved in violating privacy of such children will be punished with fine up to Rs10,000.

The act also provides for establishment of a ‘Child Protection and Welfare Commission to be headed by the provincial minister for social welfare.

Under it, Child Protection Unit will be set up on district level and the district social welfare officer will be their in charge.

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