ISLAMABAD: While the National Commission on Rights of the Child (NCRC) received 49 per cent of complaints from Punjab in the last three years, it has taken notice of the torture on a schoolgirl in Lahore.
The commission has condemned the incident and said it was violative of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan Penal Code and provincial laws and policies of Punjab.
According to a statement issued by NCRC, the Punjab School Education Department (SED) has the responsibility to regulate and monitor private education in the province.The department constituted a committee to examine matters related to private educational institutions, including legal framework, costs, teachers, issues, fees, childsecurity and safety. Therefore, NCRC has directed the secretary to School Education Department to submit an inquiry report on the incident.
Under the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act 2014, SED has to devise a mechanism in pubic and private schools to prevent such incidents and ensure protection of children from abuse, exploitation and torture.
NCRC Chairperson Afshan Tehseen said the incident once again highlighted the fact that child protection system was failing to protect children in Punjab.
`The NCRC has received 49 per cent of complaints from Punjab in last three years.
We are monitoring the situation and have directed the secretary to the government of Punjab, School Education Department, deputy commissioner and the DPO Lahore to submit an inquiry report within seven days,` she said.The NCRC also directed the DC and the district education officer Lahore to share progressonstatusofprovincialchildprotection policy and mechanism to prevent such incidents, including the formation of child protection committees in private schools and complaint handling mechanism.
The NCRC chairperson said the government of Punjab and SED should take effective measures to implement sections 18 (monitoring of right to education) and 19 (inspections and directions) of the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act 2014, formulate a comprehensive child protection policy for public and private schools and operationalise child protection committees at the school level.
According to Dawn.com, the FIR quoted the victim`s father as saying that his daughter was a student of Scarsdale American International School located in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA). He alleged that one of the four girls involved in the attack was carrying a dagger.
He said one of the girls was a boxer who hit his daughter in her face while anotherkicked her, causing injuries to her face.
Another girl tried to strangulate his daughter, he said, adding the video clip was sufficient evidence to initiate legal action againstthe attackers.
He said his daughter was traumatised following the attack and the video clip caused further mental torture to him and his family.
He added that his daughter had also recorded a video of her classfellows taking drugs in the school.
`Later, she showed me the clip that I shared with the father of that girl (prime suspect),` he said, adding the suspects had been nurturing a grudge againsthis daughtersince thenandplannedanassaultonher.
He alleged in the FIR that the attackers also snatched a gold chain and a locket fromhis daughter during the attack.
He said he also approached the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for action against those who uploaded the video clip of the assault on his daughter on social media.