Prohibition of corporal punishment rules launched in ICT

Jamila Achakzai
Friday, May 26, 2023

Islamabad: In a monumental stride towards child protection, Islamabad ushered in the "Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Rules, 2022," in a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday at the Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG), F-10/2.

A historic collaborative effort by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Ministry of Law & Justice, Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights, and UNICEF Pakistan, this initiative marks the beginning of a new era of non-violent, nurturing education for the children of Pakistan’s capital. Federal Education and Professional Training, Rana Tanveer Hussain, in his emphatic address, outlined the paramount role these rules play in preserving children's rights. "Let us work together to implement these rules effectively and create an environment where every child feels safe and nurtured,” he urged. This important initiative, he hoped, would initiate a cascade of similar measures in all provincial education ministries.

Azam Nazeer Tarar, Federal Minister for Law and Justice, applauded the successful implementation of the corporal punishment rules, asserting the necessity of imparting morals and values without resorting to coercion or punishment. “These rules serve as the building block in achieving our greater vision aimed at the well-being of our children; the ultimate future of Pakistan.” Now in effect, these rules fall under the broader umbrella of the "Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act, 2021," reinforcing the government’s and stakeholders' unyielding commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for children, free from the menace of corporal punishment.

In her passionate address, the mover of the bill and Convener of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights, Mehnaz Akber Aziz, emphasized the transformative impact of the rules on children’s lives. "The Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Rules are a testament to our commitment to ensuring children’s well-being and upholding their rights," she said.

UNICEF representative in Pakistan, Abdullah A. Fadil, highlighted the irrevocable harm inflicted by corporal punishment, urging immediate, unified action to protect children’s rights.

Shehzad Roy, head of the Zindagi Trust, pledged his ongoing commitment to raising national awareness and changing prevailing attitudes towards corporal punishment. The ceremony culminated in a powerful pledge by heads of education departments, public and private schools, mardaris, orphanages, and SOS villages to implement these rules in their institutions.

A poignant skit performed by children underscored the urgency of creating nurturing environments free from corporal punishment. Witnessed by key stakeholders, including Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson National Commission for Child Rights, Zamurad Khan, head Sweet Homes Orphanage, representatives from the involved ministries, civil society members, media, dignitaries, stakeholders, and school children, this historic event sets a precedent for the future of child protection in Pakistan.