In the Islamabad Capital Territory, special laws have been enacted for children, including:
Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 is a law in Pakistan that prohibits child marriage. The act sets the minimum age for marriage for males at 18 and for females at 16 years old. It also provides for the punishment for anyone who performs, conducts, directs or abets a child marriage, as well as for anyone who promotes or permits such a marriage to take place. The punishment for these offenses can include fines and imprisonment. However, despite the existence of this law, child marriage remains a prevalent practice in Pakistan and enforcement of the act is weak in many areas.
Employment of Children Act, 1991
The Employment of Children Act, 1991 is a law in Pakistan that prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in any factory, mine or hazardous occupation. The act also prohibits the employment of children in any other occupation or process, except where the child works in an occupation or process where he or she will not be exposed to any danger or risk to life or health and the child is given adequate education. The act also provides for the inspection of workplaces to ensure compliance with the act, and for the punishment of employers who violate its provisions. The punishment for these offenses can include fines and imprisonment. The act also allows the government to make rules and regulations to implement the act and to provide for the welfare of children employed in non-hazardous occupations. However, despite the existence of this law, child labor remains a prevalent practice in Pakistan and enforcement of the act is weak in many areas.
Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992
The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992 abolishes the bonded labour system, and discharges all bonded labourers from any obligation to render such labour. All property forcibly taken by creditors for the recovery of bonded debt must be returned, and encumbrances relating to bonded debt are no longer valid. Vigilance Committees at the District level, composed of representatives of government, social services, lawyers and journalists are to supervise its implementation, assist the rehabilitation of freed bonded labourers, and provide them with assistance to achieve the objectives of the law. Those persons contravening the Act are subject to imprisonment of two to five years, or a fine of fifty thousand rupees, or both. When the Act came into force in 1992, it was initially applicable throughout Pakistan. However, after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, all provinces enacted their own laws banning the bonded labour in their respective provinces.
Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2012
The Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2012 is a law in Pakistan that guarantees the right to free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 5 and 16 in Islamabad Capital Territory. The act also requires the government to establish and maintain schools in every neighborhood and to ensure that all children have equal access to education regardless of their social or economic background. The act also provides for the appointment of trained teachers, the provision of textbooks and other instructional materials, and the establishment of a system for the evaluation of students. The act also includes provisions for the protection of the rights of children with disabilities, and for the elimination of discrimination in education. The act also gives the right to the parents to have their children educated in the medium of instruction of their choice (either in Urdu or the regional language). However, despite the existence of this law, access to education in Pakistan remains a challenge in many areas, especially for girls, marginalized communities and children living in rural or conflict-affected areas.
Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Act, 2018
The Government of Pakistan has promulgated the ICT Child Protection Act, 2018 which provide for establishment of mechanism for rescue, care, and protection of children at risk and establishment of a welfare Fund for the children and for registration of the unattended children.
ICT Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act, 2021
ICT Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act was enacted in 2021 is applicable in Islamabad Capital Territory. The Act prohibits corporal punishment of children at work place, in public and private schools and other educational settings including formal, non-formal, and religious institutions- in child care institutions, as well as in the juvenile justice system. The Act provides that under no circumstances corporal punishments, or punishments which related to the child’s physical and mental development or which may affect the child’s emotional status are allowed. It includes a list of sanctions and modalities for enforcement of the Act to private institutions, imposes penalties on educators, caregivers or other perpetrators exercising any form of physical punishment “in good faith” or “for the benefit” of the child. This marks an important step towards protecting children from violence, changing attitudes towards corporal punishment, and better ensuring children’s dignity and rights.
Kindly check national laws which also have jurisdiction in the Islamabad Capital Territory region.