Child Marriage Bar to be set at 18 years: approved by Cabinet Committee

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Lahore: The Punjab Government has proposed amendments to laws regarding child marriage for extending the term “child” to individuals under 18 years of age. The proposal was shred by Finance Minister  Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman during a meeting of the Cabinet Standing Committee on Legislation and Enforcement on 6th June 2024. He said the aim of amending the Child Marriage Act of 1929 was to deter distinction among while enforcing the law. Changes in the definition of child in the act were approved by the committee. The cabinet committee also reviewed the Child Protection Policy, reaching a consensus on the establishment of special courts for vulnerable individuals and expanding the jurisdiction of the Child Protection Bureau to cover the entire province. The committee also reviewed proposed amendments to the Kite Flying Prohibition Ordinance 2001 for imposing strict penalties. The amendments aim to curb the use of kites that pose risk to the people, particularly targeting children who are often unaware of severity of the issue. The kite makers, string manufacturers and those who supply them to the markets will face legal action. The minister directed the police to report on the progress made in curbing kite flying during the next meeting of the committee. He emphasized that the police should prioritise action against kite makers.

Proposed legislation against kite flying suggests penalties for children and strict punishment of manufacturers. Provincial information Minister Azma Bukhari emphasized the importance of all stakeholders being informed about the proposed acts and ordinances, as well as the reasons behind the amendments, to ensure clarity before their enforcement. The legislation against kite flying proposes penalties for children, to make parents comprehend their  responsibilities, an strict punishments for kite and string manufacturers. Local Government Minister Zeshan Rafique condemned the business of lethal strings and suggested that kite flyers be presented before magistrates immediately after arrest. He advocated the inclusion of women police officers and enhancing department efficiency .

Acknowledgement: News published in the Express Tribune on 7th June 2024

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