Home > Publications > Baluchistan Child Protection Act, 2016: What have we Learnt from Child Protection Legislation in Pakistan Since 2004?

Baluchistan Child Protection Act, 2016: What have we Learnt from Child Protection Legislation in Pakistan Since 2004?

Tahira Jabeen1

Abstract
This paper is a comparative analysis of Baluchistan Child Protection Act,
2016 with child protection legislation enactment and implementation in three other
jurisdictions of Pakistan, namely; Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh. Each
province has enacted a child protection specific law followed by establishment of a
formal institutional arrangement for the implementation of the law. In Punjab, the
Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act promulgated in 2004, and revised in
2007, and Child Protection and Welfare Bureau was established in the provincial
Home department to implement this law. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), KP Child
Protection and Welfare Act 2010 followed KP Child Protection and Welfare Rules
2013 while the implementation was assigned to a Child Protection and Welfare
Commission within the provincial Social Welfare department. In Baluchistan, Child
Welfare and Protection Act was enacted in 2016, a Child Protection Commission has
been notified in 2018 within the provincial Social Welfare department which would
be responsible for the implementation of the aforementioned law. The analysis reveals
that despite a fairly long gap between enactment and implementation of previous three
laws and the recent one there are legislative and institutional gaps which were not
addressed in this new legislation, e.g, too much left to bylaws/secondary legislation
which take years to follow, too narrow or too broad scope of the laws not matching
with the capacity and mandate of the implementing bodies. Above all, each law
acknowledges child protection to be a multidimensional and cross disciplinary
endeavor, however, none chalks out clear collaboration mechanisms with other
departments and organizations. It is concluded that those involved in child protection
legislation and its implementation have a lot to learn from each other’s experiences,
especially from mistakes if we are to protect our children from violence, abuse,
exploitation and neglect.

Keywords: Baluchistan, Child protection, Comparative analysis, Legislation, Lessons
learnt, Pakistan