Child abusers to face death penalty, KP Assembly passes bill
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial assembly passed a “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare (Amendment) Act, 2022”. The bill said that those who are convicted in child abuse or child trafficking will either be sentenced to life imprisonment or they could also face 14-20 years behind the bars.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed the long-delayed Provincial Child Protection and Welfare (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which tightens penalties for crimes such as child sexual abuse, pornography, organ trade and trafficking.
The bill, which was introduced in the House in March 2022, was debated in various forums. A campaign was launched to increase the punishment for sex offenders.
The Assembly had constituted a special committee on child abuse which was to recommend some amendments in the existing law. The Amended act provides for death penalty or life imprisonment and fine for offenders involved in the sale of organs of children which shall not be less than Rs2 million to Rs5 million.
Importantly, the current law already provides for the death penalty for those involved in the dealing of child organs. Under the existing law, a convicted person was liable to a fine of up to Rs1 million. The amended law carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs2 million.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly approves amendment to section 48 of law. The amendment section says that whoever commits an offence of child pornography shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment, which shall not be less than 14 years and may be extended to 20 years and shall also be liable to fine, which may not be less than two million and may extend to seven million rupees.
The amended law provides for life imprisonment for those involved in child trafficking. It can carry a sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to Rs5 million.
Under the amended Act, a person involved in sexual assault carries a life sentence and fine of up to Rs5 million. Opposition members walked out of the House after their amendments were rejected.
The amended law states that the police, in consultation with the Child Protection and Welfare Commission, will create a register of offenders involved in sexual offenses, which will contain the names of persons convicted of sexual offenses with a child under the Act which may have been cited by the court or prosecutors.
The law also includes a ban on employment for such offenders, use of public transport and punishment for intentional recruitment.