In the province of Punjab, special laws have been enacted for children, including:
Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children’s Act, 2004 (PNDCA, 2004)
Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children’s Act was promulgated in 2004 in the province of Punjab for the protection of destitute and neglected child. A “destitute and neglected child” is defined as a person under the age of 18 “who is found begging; or is found without having any home or settled place of abode, and without any ostensible means of subsistence; or has a parent or guardian who is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child; or lives in brothel or with a prostitute”; “is being or is likely to be abused or exploited”; “is beyond parental control”; “is at risk owing to disability or child labour”; has lost one or both parents, or has been abandoned by his parent or guardian; “is victim of an offence … his parent or guardian is convicted or accused of”; “is imprisoned with the mother or born in jail”.
Under the Act, Child Protection and Welfare Bureau was established, with its management vested in a board chaired by the chief minister. The board can set up a fund in order to carry out the CPWB’s purpose; set up child protection institutions; and oversee prosecution of offences under the act. The CPWB is responsible for appointing child protection officers, mainly to rescue neglected and destitute children and be able to produce them in court, for which the officers can seek police assistance. The CPWB can establish child protection units anywhere in Punjab. The Act also requires the government to establish child protection courts that have the power to order for a child to be produced in court; grant custody to a suitable person or institution; issue search warrants for a child; and order parents to provide for maintenance of their child in protective custody. So far, the government has been able to establish only one such court, which sits within the CPWB’s premises in Lahore.
Punjab Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition (Amendment) Act, 2012
Punjab Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition (Amendment) Act, 2012 is an Act to protect breastfeeding and feeding and nutrition for infants and young children and to further promote and protect the right of women to breastfeed their children in public places and at work places. This law was originally passed as the Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance in 2002 by the federal government. However, the 18th Constitutional Amendment the issue was devolved to the provinces, and so it was adapted in 2012 with amendments for Punjab province. The Act also aims to improve child nutrition by encouraging the consumption of locally available nutritious food and restricting the advertisement of unhealthy food products to children. The law also includes provisions for penalties for non-compliance, such as fines or imprisonment. It is a way to promote maternal and child health in the region.
Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014
The Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014 is a law in the Pakistani province of Punjab which aims to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 5 and 16. The Act makes it the legal responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are enrolled in and attend school, and also provides for the establishment of a monitoring and enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with this requirement. The Act also provides for the establishment of a fund to support the education of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and for the appointment of education officers to oversee the implementation of the Act. The Act also includes provisions for the punishment of parents who fail to comply with their legal obligation to ensure their children’s education. The Act was passed to fulfill the constitutional obligation of providing free and compulsory education to every child in Pakistan.
Punjab Reproductive, Maternal, Neo-Natal and Child Health Authority Act, 2014
The Punjab Reproductive, Maternal, Neo-Natal and Child Health Authority Act, 2014 is a law in the Pakistani province of Punjab that aims to improve maternal and child health and reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in the province by establishing the Punjab Reproductive, Maternal, Neo-Natal and Child Health Authority (PRMNCHA). The main objective of the Act is to improve maternal, neo-natal and child health, family planning and reproductive health services in the province. The Act provides for the establishment of the PRMNCHA as an autonomous body with the mandate to coordinate and oversee the provision of reproductive, maternal, neo-natal, and child health services in the province. It also provides for the appointment of a board of directors to govern the PRMNCHA and for the formation of district and tehsil-level committees to ensure the provision of health services at the grassroots level. The Act also establishes a fund to support the activities of the PRMNCHA and to finance the provision of health services.
Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act, 2016
The Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act, 2016 is a law in the Pakistani province of Punjab that aims to prohibit the employment of children under the age of 14 years in brick kilns. The Act makes it illegal for any person to employ or permit the employment of a child at a brick kiln, or to cause or permit a child to work in any capacity at a brick kiln. The Act also provides for the inspection of brick kilns to ensure compliance with the law and for the prosecution of employers who violate the Act. The Act also provides for the rehabilitation of children who are found to have been employed in contravention of the Act, including their education and vocational training. The Act was passed to protect the rights of children and to ensure that they are not forced to work in hazardous conditions at brick kilns and to provide them with access to education and other rights.
Punjab Restriction on Employment Children Act, 2016
Punjab Restriction on Employment Children Act, 2016 prohibits the employment of children and to restrict the employment of adolescents in certain occupations and processes. A child is defined a person who has not attained the age of fifteen years whereas “adolescent” means a person who has attained the age of fifteen years but has not attained the age of eighteen years. The Act specifies that an occupier shall not employ or permit a child to work in the establishment. The Act provides a lit of 38 occupations, and the occupier shall not employ or permit an adolescent to perform any hazardous work in the establishment. Under the Act, the Government shall constitute a Committee to be called the Provincial Committee on Child Labour to advise the Government for appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the eradication of child labour and, subject to Article 11 of the Constitution, to propose the minimum age for purposes of employment in the Province.
Punjab Domestic Workers Act, 2019
The Punjab Domestic Workers Act, 2019 is a law in the Pakistani province of Punjab that aims to protect the rights of domestic workers. The law defines domestic workers as individuals who work in a private household and provides them with a range of rights, including the right to a minimum wage, the right to social security benefits, and the right to a safe and healthy working environment. The law also includes provisions for the regulation of employment agencies that recruit domestic workers, as well as penalties for employers who violate the rights of their domestic workers. This Act bans the working of a child under the age of 15 years in a household in any manner, and allows the Child under the age of 18 years to engage in light work in domestic setting. The light work has also been defined in the Act under section 3 which “means a domestic work which is part-time in nature and is not likely to harm health,
safety and education of a domestic worker”.
Kindly check national laws which also have jurisdiction in the province of Punjab.