The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed a police focal person to apprise the court as to what action had been taken against the mafia involved in the beggary of children.
The direction came on a petition seeking the implementation of the Sindh Child Protection Authority (SCPA) law in the province to protect the rights of the children and save them from domestic violence.
The petitioner, Natasha Lakhani, submitted that thousands of street children were roaming in the city and several were being used in criminal activities, begging and other anti-social activities.
The high court on a previous hearing had taken exception to the non-implementation of the SCPA law, which was promulgated in 2011, and directed the SCPA director general (DG) to submit a detailed progress report with regard to efforts made for the proper implementation of the law.
The social welfare department director general, Dr Azimur Rahim, appeared before the court and filed a progress report which showed that the child protection institutions were being established in the province. He submitted that various cases had been lodged against persons involved in using children in begging.
He submitted that presently three child protection institutes were working under the control of the social welfare department in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. He submitted that a child protection institute was also under construction in Korangi, which would be completed by June 2021 and have the capacity to house 300 children.
He said two pilot projects for destitute children and orphans were being established in Karachi for which the government had allocated Rs50 million during the current fiscal year. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar directed the provincial law officer to call a report from the police department, containing details about actions taken against the mafia involved in the beggary of children, as the social welfare department had submitted that various cases have been lodged against such persons.
The child protection authority was established to coordinate and monitor the child protection-related issues at the provincial and district levels and ensure the rights of children in need of special protection measures. The authority was to support and establish institutional mechanisms for the child protection issues and make necessary efforts to enhance and strengthen the existing services of different children welfare institutions.