Physical Punishment to Students is Now Officially Banned in Islamabad

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, in collaboration with the Ministry of Law & Justice, successfully launched the ‘Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Rules, 2022’. This event took place at the Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG), F-10/2, with the support of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan.

During the launch, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Education and Professional Training, emphasized the significance of these rules in protecting children’s rights and promoting a culture of non-violence. He urged everyone to work together to effectively implement these rules and create an environment where every child feels safe and cared for. Rana also expressed his intention to reach out to provincial education ministries to encourage them to adopt similar measures.

Azam Nazeer Tarar, Federal Minister for Law and Justice, congratulated the stakeholders on the implementation of the corporal punishment rules. He emphasized that morals and values cannot be enforced through coercion or punishment and acknowledged that this was a step in the right direction. Tarar pledged full support for future child rights initiatives and related legislation.

The launch of the ‘Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Rules, 2022’ is a significant milestone in the ongoing effort to protect children from corporal punishment in the capital territory. These comprehensive rules, which are immediately effective, fall under the ‘Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act, 2021′. They demonstrate the government and stakeholders’ commitment to eliminating corporal punishment and creating a safe environment for children.

Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Convener of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights and Parliamentary Secretary Law and Justice, highlighted the transformative impact of these rules on children’s lives. She emphasized that the launch signifies a crucial step towards protecting children and providing safe spaces for their growth and development. Aziz expressed hope that the rules would motivate the currently 2.4 million out-of-school children to enroll in schools. She acknowledged the support of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Federal Minister for Education, the Federal Minister for Law, and the then Speaker of the National Assembly in advancing this essential legislation.

Abdullah A. Fadil, representative of UNICEF in Pakistan, emphasized the immediate and long-lasting negative effects of corporal punishment on children. He called for united action to support the Act, enabling all children in Pakistan to learn and thrive in a safe environment that respects their rights and dignity. Shehzad Roy, head of Zindagi Trust, reaffirmed his commitment to raising awareness about this issue nationwide and stressed the need to change the mindset of parents and teachers.

Following the speeches, a pledge-taking ceremony was held, with heads of various education departments, public and private schools, madrasas, orphanages, and SOS villages committing to implementing these rules fully in their institutions. The launch event concluded with a poignant skit performed by children, emphasizing the urgency of eliminating corporal punishment and fostering nurturing environments for the younger generation.

The launch ceremony saw the active participation of key stakeholders, including Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson National Commission for Child Rights, Zamurad Khan, head of Sweet Homes Orphanage, representatives from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Ministry of Law & Justice, civil society members, media, dignitaries, stakeholders, and school children.

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