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An Assessment of the Staff’s Capacity to Implement the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection & Welfare Act 2010

Tahira Jabeen, Zia Ullah Akhunzada

Abstract
Legislation being an integral part of the child protection system
around the globe, Pakistan is increasingly incorporating child protection
specific laws in its formal child protection system. So far, Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa’s Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010 is considered the
most comprehensive child protection legislation in Pakistan. This article is
based on research that was conducted to assess the capacity of the child
protection practitioners to understand, interpret and implement this law in
the province. The findings of the study reveal that the child protection staff
report themselves as lacking the capacity in relation with the relevance of
international legislation, i.e., the UNCRC provisions regarding protection
rights and the scope of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and
Welfare Act 2010 ; legal interpretation and practical application of local
legislation; linkages with pre-existing child-related legislation; and
managing special child protection situations and following court
proceedings. The staff also expressed frustration over absence of bylaws/rules and SOPs; administrative constraints regarding lack of
departmental mandate on protection issues involving child labour; and the
gap between the legislative and administrative provisions. It is
recommended that a revision of the Act as well administrative changes be
introduced to make the district level child protection system more effective.

Keywords: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010,
staff capacity, implementation