Juvenile justice committees have been established in Hazara’s Haripur and Mansehra districts to provide legal aid to juveniles encountering legal hurdles. There are plans underway to inaugurate a committee in Abbottabad. Asad Saeed Khan, the President of the Haripur District Bar Association, highlighted the pivotal role these committees play in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Rules 2023. He committed to extending legal support through these committees.
During a seminar on the juvenile justice system organized by the Lahore-based NGO Sanjog at the district bar association, Senior Lawyer Saeed Akhtar Advocate expressed the determination to revitalize inactive committees.
This seminar was part of a series of workshops held by the NGO across bar associations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, aiming to raise awareness, especially among legal practitioners.
Choudhary Waheed Advocate, Senior Lawyer, and Chairman of the Child Protection Committee Lahore Bar, outlined that a Juvenile Justice Committee should consist of four members: a judicial magistrate, a district public prosecutor, a bar member with a minimum of seven years’ experience, and either a probation officer or a social welfare officer appointed by the sessions judge for a two-year term.
The seminar witnessed participation from male and female lawyers, social activists, former judges, probation officers, child protection officers, and concerned citizens. Notable attendees included President Sardar Basharat of the district bar in Abbottabad, Ex-District Judge Raja Masood, Naveed Ahmad Khan, and Muhammad Amir, Senior Probation Officer.
The gathering also heard from Social Welfare Officer Saira, Farzna Jadoon, Child Protection Officer, and Khalid Saeed, adviser to the federal ombudsman. Ch Waheed, in his presentation, underscored the key aspects of the Juvenile Justice System Act 2018 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Juvenile Justice System Rules 2023, particularly emphasizing the prohibition on disclosing the identity of any juvenile.
He warned that individuals found revealing a juvenile’s identity through printing or publishing information could face imprisonment of up to three years along with a fine.
Hafiza Tayyaba, CEO of Sanjog, extended a warm welcome to the participants and shared the organization’s fifteen-year commitment to fostering awareness about juvenile laws and reforms.
Acknowledgement: Daily Tribune