Huddle seeks to further empower NCRC

A consultative meeting was convened by the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC) to discuss the proposed amendments to the NCRC Act, 2017 to make the commission a fully independent national human rights institution.

The meeting, presided over by NCRC Acting Chairperson Jawad Ullah, was also attended by Chief of Child Protection UNICEF Daniela Luciani, Child Protection Specialist UNICEF Farah Ilyas, legal experts and civil society representatives.

Jawad Ullah shared the objectives of the consultation, where amendments to the NCRC Act, 2017 were under consideration, to overcome the shortcomings of the original statute and ensure adequate representation of all provinces in its constitution and empower it for advancing the cause for which the NCRC has been established.

Legal adviser Atta Ul Mustafa explained how the presence of a well-defined mandate was integral to the effective functioning of national human rights institutions.

Daniela Luciani acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of the NCRC for the protection, promotion and advancement of child rights. She said that coherent legislation was imperative for the effective functioning of the commission.

Legal experts Tayyab Ali Awan and Laiba Qayyum proposed the NCRC (second amendment) bill 2022 for discussion before relevant stakeholders.

They said that the proposed amendments sought to strengthen the mandate of the commission, stipulate a coherent process of appointment and removal of members, and allocate a seat for Gilgit-Baltistan in the commission to ensure its adequate representation.

Additionally, the extension of suo-moto powers to the commission was also discussed to curtail the violation of child rights.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2022.

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