Ombudsman Stresses For Strengthening Laws And Mechanism

Ombudsman stresses for strengthening laws and mechanism

ISLAMABAD, Jun 6 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Jun, 2021 ) :Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan Syed Tahir Shahbaz has said that holistic approach was needed for the prevention and control of cyber crimes against children because it has emerged as one of the most serious global issues.

Federal Ombudsman stressed on making better coordination between Police, FIA, PTA and other related institutions to curb such crimes. He was chairing a meeting of the Task Force on Prevention and Control of Cyber Crimes against Children in the conference room of Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat.

He lauded the efforts of the task force and the role of Syeda Viquar-un-Nisa, Advisor and Secretary of Task Force in compiling the Prevention & Control of Cyber crimes against Children Bill, 2021.

Task Force in the headship of Syeda Viquar un Nisa worked hard and proposed certain amendments in the prevalent laws vis--vis the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016(PECA), Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984. The proposed amendments are aimed to strengthen the prevailing legal framework for the prevention and control of sexual exploitation and cyber crimes against children.

The meeting was attended by all the stakeholders including Federal and Provincial Ministries, Provincial Home departments, FIA, UNICEF,UNODC, Police, NGOs, Ms. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, MNA/Chairperson Parliamentary sub-Committee on Child Rights and federal and provincial parliamentarians.

National Commissioner for Children Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi while highlighting the gravity of the issue explained that cyber crime has acute adverse effects on women and children and it was our collective responsibility as a state and as a nation to come up with an affective National Plan of Action.

The meeting finalized the draft of bill and National Plan of Action for Awareness Raising, which would be submitted to the Parliament for consideration and approval.

In the start of the meeting Syeda Viqar un Nisa, Advisor WMS and Secretary of Task Force briefed the meeting on the draft of "Prevention & Control of Cyber crimes against Children Bill, 2021" and insertions of the offences of Cyber bulling, online grooming, cyber enticement, sexual exploitation of children, exposure of harmful online contents, kidnapping, abduction or trafficking of minor for abuse of sexual conduct, non-commercial exploitation, police cognizance of the offences under PAEC, composition of joint investigation team, giving authority to PTA and sending cases to FIA, blocking unlawful contents and amendments in Qanoon e- Shahadat regarding admissibility of witnesses recorded by the court through modern devices or techniques including video call, viber, Skype, IMO, whatApp, Messenger, Line caller and video conference.

It has been proposed provisions to make all cyber crimes against children and PECA non-cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable. It has also been proposed expanding police jurisdiction to take cognizance of offenses and refer the matter relating PECA to FIA right away, time limitation for various stages from investigation to conclusion of trial e.g. compilation of investigation within 45 days, trial of cases on weekly basis and court to decide such cases within three(03) months.

It has also been proposed the admissibility of evidence of witness with the help of modern information system. She also highlighted the main contents of the National Plan of Action for Awareness Raising.

Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, MNA/ Chairperson Parliamentary sub-Committee on Child Rights also spoke on the occasion and said every bill must have a narration bill for giving public awareness on the proposed bill. She commended the efforts of the Federal Ombudsman in defending the rights of the children.