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Training workshop: Helping police enforce laws protecting rights of children

LAHORE: It took Pakistan decades to frame laws on universal access to education and to take a strict stance on child marriages, Democratic Commission for Human Development Executive Director Tanveer Jahan said at the closing session of a series of workshops for policemen on Monday. There is a need to harmonise various laws pertaining to children in the country, she said.

The Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD) and Save the Children organised a series of six training workshops aimed at sensitising and raising awareness among policemen regarding child marriage and the national and international legal and human rights frameworks.

The workshops were held as part of DCHD’s campaign against child marriages in the Punjab. As many as 180 police officials were trained in various aspects of human rights and the role and responsibility of the police in implementing laws safeguarding the rights of children.

Zafar Javed Malik, chief law instructor of the junior school at the police training college, and Arshad Mehmood of the DCHD, facilitated various sessions during the training.

The participants studied a comparative report on laws on child marriages in Sindh and in the Punjab.

They were given detailed lectures on human rights and how Pakistan was obligated to enact laws in accordance with the UN Convention on Rights of the Child. Dr Irshad Danish, a child rights advocacy expert at Save the Children Pakistan, briefed participants about basic concepts surrounding child rights and highlighted the main causes and impact of under-age marriages. He explained how various stakeholders at grassroots and the police could play a major role in combating discriminatory customary practices.

Police Training College Commandant Fiaz Ahmad Dev congratulated the police officials on completing the training and said that he hoped that the trainees would practice all they had learned in the training. He urged civil society organisations to join hands with the police to ensure effective implementation of laws to protect child rights and to bridge the gap between the public and police.

Tanveer Jahan said police was a major stake holder in implementing such laws. She thanked the police training school for providing them the opportunity to interact with each other.

Express Tribune