QUETTA – Sardar Abdul Khetiran, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) member in Balochistan Assembly, alleged that approximately 99% of juvenile prisoners in jails of the province face drug abuse and sexual harassment, on Thursday.
The MPA was responding to a calling attention notice moved by Yasmin Lehri, MPA of National Party, regarding delayed implementation of the Balochistan Child Protection Act, during a session of the assembly. The session was presided over by Speaker Raheela Durrani.
Mr. Khetiran said that there are no separate prisons for juveniles in the province and no mechanism to monitor the jails. Although adults are kept in separate cells, however, due to mismanagement and lack of monitoring they often end up sexually harassing minors, he further added.
“Juvenile prisoners coming out of jails after completing their term often become drug addicts”, said the MPA and added that over 4,000 juvenile prisoners are kept in the province’s jails in violation of existing laws.
Balochistan Child Protection Act was passed on Nov 17 last year but the Social Welfare Department has failed to implement it completely. Majeed Khan Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party condemned the fact that the assembly was quick to legislate on matters of importance, but the departments are extremely inactive when it came to the implementation of laws.
Taking notice of Mr. Khetiran’s comments, Ms Durrani asked the home secretary to submit a report in this regard.
Jails in Pakistan are in extremely poor condition, especially for women and minors. The unavailability of statistics is also an issue. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) no proper data is available on the juvenile prisons or prisoners.
The Society for the Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC) reported on poor living conditions of Juvenile prisoners, however, didn’t report any sexual offence. Children offenders in Balochistan are kept at Quetta District Jail, Central Jail, Khuzdar, Loralai District Jail, Mach Central Jail and Sibi District Jail.