Pakistan passes bill to allow child abduction trials in ATCs

Islamabad: The Pakistan Senate has passed a bill which will pave the way for conducting trials of child abduction cases in anti-terrorism courts (ATC) and also raise alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children.

The Zainab Alert Recovery and Response Bill, 2020 was passed on Wednesday two years after the brutal rape and murder of a nine-year-old in Kasur in 2018, reports The Express Tribune.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati moved the motion for immediate consideration of the bill by dispensing the rules.

The Upper House passed the bill after a brief discussion and considered it as reported by the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights.

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The bill will raise the required alerts and initiate the responses required for recovery of missing, abducted, abused or kidnapped children in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

It will help to provide speedy system for alerts, responses, recoveries, investigations, trails and rehabilitation to prevent and curb criminal activities against the children.

According to the bill, the maximum sentence handed down to perpetrators of child sexual abuse will be life imprisonment with a fine of 1 million Pakistani rupees while the minimum sentence will be 10 years.

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