Protection of Children Draft Legislation; In Parliament’s Working Agenda Soon
Protection of Children Draft Legislation; In...
The incidents pages of mainstream press show terrible news of child abuse cases, which require serious attention. Fear of darkness and loneliness, disassociation, loss of appetite, paleness of colour, are all signs of innocent children whose innocent bodies and souls have been scarred by their parents or relatives abuse.
The lack of necessary legal actions and ineffective punishments cause the escalation of these abuses. But the fact remains that experience has shown that the legislation of repetitive laws cannot be appropriate solutions, and more important than the legislation of laws, the existence of monitering bodies and watchdogs for the correct application of the law and the use of NGOs to help solve this problem, can perhaps be more suitable solutions, which the authorities need to focus on.
In 2009, officials in the Judiciary for the first time compiled a 54 articled draft legislation on protection of children and juveniles rights and presented it to the 10th Government, which following the required reviews was reduced to 49 articles by the government, and in 2011 it was sent to the parliament for review and ratification. The initial text of the draft which included a collection of judicial and non-judicial protections, was presented to the parliament by the government, and the parliament referred it to the parliamentary legal and judicial commission. But the draft’s generalities due to delays and other issues that were in priority, was not adopted by the parliament.
This draft legislation mentions instances such as, parenting, runaways from home, jailed parents, continued abuse, not registering birth, abuse, mistreatment, exploitation, intentional disregard for the physical and mental health of children, preventing them getting education, sale of children, and criminal activities carried out by children. Also the draft foresees that children can also file complaints and parents who commit child abuse crimes will have the custody of their children taken away from them. For the protection of children, the age has been defined carefully and the line between childhood and adulthood has been determined, and in this regard, 18 has been determined as the legal adult age, and individuals under that age can get the protections of this law.
According to Irna News Agency, once again members of parliament are attempting to enter the arena of the fight against child abuse by removing legal vacuums from the draft. Members of the Women’s Fraction is also making efforts and necessary follow ups to speed up the adoption of the draft. Fatemeh Zava-alghadr, a member of the Women’s Fraction says: “this draft has been reviewed in the Cultural Commission and the Women’s Fraction, and has been sent to the Judicial Commission, so that the final amendments are applied and the Women’s Fraction is following up on that. But due to other drafts such as the fight against drugs and trafficking draft, immense pressures have been put on the relevant commissions, and the protection of children and juveniles draft legislation has had a slow process, which has currently been sorted out and soon will enter the parliament session. Furthermore, in view of the crimes that have recently taken place, the 10th Parliament has shown its determination to speed up the ratification of this draft so that child abuse is somehow reduced and ultimately eradicated.”
With this legislation most crimes against children can be prevented, because in its review, heavy sentences have been foreseen for perpetrators of these crimes, and they can easily be investigated and the repetition of crimes prevented.
It must be said that it cannot be said with certainty that with the enforcement of this legislation we shall not witness child abuse, because the ratification of this law, as a duty of members of parliament and the parliament, is a legislative aspect, and its other aspect is monitoring. So it can only be said the law is successful when alongside the consensus of experts in the field, in the application process monitoring be also done so that we see an improvement in the children’s rights situation. Also foundations must be laid and awareness raised. The media, particularly the state media must inform society of children’s rights. People must now what responsibilities they have towards children, and children must fully know their rights. When the necessary information and awareness is given to the people of society, this by itself will have significant preventive aspects.