Senate passes law against child sexual abuse

Published: March 11, 2016


ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday passed a bill that criminalises for the first time sexual assault against minors, child pornography and trafficking.

The amendment to the penal code, which will go into force after being ratified by the president, also raises the age of criminal responsibility from seven to 10 years of age.

Under the revised legislation, sexual assaults will now be punishable by up to seven years in prison. Previously, only rape was criminalised.

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Likewise, child pornography, which was previously not mentioned in the law, will be be punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of 700,000 rupees ($7000).

Pakistan last August was rocked by a major paedophilia scandal when it was revealed that hundreds of pornographic videos of children from the village of Hussain Khanwala in Punjab had been created and were being circulated.

About 20 arrests were made, but only the acts of rape and sodomy were punishable by law.

The new amendment also criminalises child trafficking within Pakistan. Previously traffickers were only liable for punishment if they removed children from the country.

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“This is a very important step to realise the obligations of Pakistan” under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Sara Coleman, chief of child protection at UNICEF, told AFP.

“Now we have to turn our attention to the law’s implementation,” said Valerie Khan, the director of Group Development Pakistan, a local NGO which advocates legal reforms.

She also called for the “establishment of a national commission on child rights, which is essential to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the law.”

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Mk
    Mar 11, 2016 - 9:12PM

    These sick minded barbarians should be hanged not given a prison time of 7 – 10 years!! That’s totally not enough for ruining a child physically and mentally. Recommend

  • quatro
    Mar 11, 2016 - 9:26PM

    So raping little boys/girls wasn’t against the law .. and when you finally enact a law the penalty is only 7 years. Shame on you.Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 11, 2016 - 9:44PM

    What the heck? The punishment for child abuse should be death only. 7 years in prison and the culprit would come out giving a message that he could walk on earth after committing that heinous crime.Recommend

  • Lahori
    Mar 11, 2016 - 10:58PM

    FINALLY… Good luck… many would be jailed if implemented!!! Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 12, 2016 - 1:50AM

    would child marriage be considered child sexual abuse?Recommend

  • sadi
    Mar 12, 2016 - 2:29AM

    These people should be hanged. This is the least punishment of their act.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 12, 2016 - 3:27AM

    This law is still very weak. Except parents and siblings nobody should be allowed to touch or hug a child. Recommend

  • Faisal Afzal
    Mar 12, 2016 - 4:35AM

    Wait so before this law, it’s was free for all? 7 years for Sexual assault is nothing compared to the rest of the world.Recommend

  • ik
    Mar 14, 2016 - 11:50AM

    Still loose law… Still implementation is important Recommend

  • Sana
    Jun 3, 2016 - 10:22AM

    yeah its too less.Recommend

  • Tiger khan
    Jun 3, 2016 - 6:10PM

    sad just 7 years… how about death sentence.. Indonesia just did it.. Recommend

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