Table Of ContentsNext Page


Human Rights Watch
New York · Washington · London · Brussels
Copyright © November 1999 by Human Rights Watch
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
ISBN: 1-56432-242-4
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 99-067700



To the Government of Pakistan
Regarding the Police
Regarding the Prisons
Regarding the Child Offenders Act (Bill), 1995
Regarding Other Laws Affecting Juveniles
To the Governments of Punjab and Sindh Provinces
To Donor Countries

Criminal Law
Juvenile Justice Laws

Custodial Abuse of Children
Conditions in Police Custody
Illegal Detention

International Standards
Prison Rules
Pakistan's Prison System
Lahore District Jail
Rawalpindi Central Prison
Other Prisons
Medical Care and Nutrition
Education and Vocational Training
Disciplinary Measures
Training of Jail Staff
Sexual Abuse

Juvenile Institutions
Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur
Medical Care
Vocational Training and Labor
Disciplinary Measures
Grievance Mechanisms
Visits by Family Members
Youthful Offenders Industrial School, Karachi
Governing Legislation
Education and Vocational Training
Abuses by Jail Staff
Remand Home, Karachi

Defects in the Criminal Justice System
Delayed Investigation Reports
Restrictive Application of Bail Laws
Frequent Adjournment of Hearings
Limited Use of Probation and Parole
Lack of Counsel
Criminal Courts
Tribal Courts
Anti-Terrorism Courts

Juvenile Justice in Sindh
Juvenile Justice in Punjab
The Child Offenders Act (Bill), 1995
Definition of a Child
Arrest and Bail
Disposal of Cases
Training of Personnel
Conflicts With Provincial Laws
Recommendations of the Pakistan Law Commission


APPENDIX A: Excerpts from the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
APPENDIX B: U.N. Standard Minimum Rules For The Administration of Juvenile Justice
APPENDIX C: U.N. Rules For The Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty
APPENDIX D: Child Offenders Act 1995


This report is based on research conducted in Pakistan during May and August 1998 by Vikram Parekh, a Human Rights Watch researcher, and Ali Qazilbash, a consultant to Human Rights Watch. The report was written by Vikram Parekh, and edited by Yodon Thonden, counsel to Human Rights Watch, and Patricia Gossman, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. Additional comments were provided by Michael Bochenek, counsel to Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch is indebted to several individuals and non-governmental organizations in Pakistan that have done extensive work on juvenile justice and who generously assisted us in the course of researching this project. They include Zia Awan of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid; Hina Jilani, Mohammad Hamza, and Rana Muhammad Athar Jamal of the AGHS Child Rights and Legal Aid Cells; Afrasiab Khattak, I.A. Rehman, Aziz Siddiqui, and Brig. (ret'd) Rao Abid Hamid of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; Anees Jillani of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child; and Dr. Amin A. Gadit, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Hamdard College of Medicine, Karachi. We would also like to thank several government officials and judicial authorities for their generous cooperation and assistance in our research. They include Mian Saqib Nisar, who at the time of our initial visit was Secretary of Law in the Government of Pakistan; Dr. Faqir Hussain, Joint Secretary, Pakistan Law Commission; Dr. Abdul Majeed Ahmed Auolakh, Principal, Central Jail Staff Training Institute, Ministry of the Interior; Muhammad Masood Khan, Senior Lecturer (Law), Central Jail Staff Training Institute, Ministry of the Interior; Kamran Dost, Deputy Secretary (General), Home Department, Government of Sindh; Zain-ul-Abideen, Inspector-General of Prisons, Government of the North-West Frontier Province; Neelofar Shahnawaz, Judicial Magistrate (Juvenile Court), Karachi, and Mohammed Aslam, judicial magistrate, Lahore.

Special mention should be made of the Government of Punjab province, which granted us permission to inspect each of the facilities that we requested. In particular we wish to thank Zia-ul-Hassan, Inspector-General of Prisons, who authorized our visits; Muhammad Arshad Bhatti, Additional Secretary, Home Department; Captain Sarfraz Mufti, Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons; Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, and Tareen Farooq, Deputy Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur; Zia Ullah, Superintendent, District Jail, Lahore; and Kasim Baloch, Deputy Superintendent, Rawalpindi.

Finally, we would like to thank the many children whom we interviewed, whose names have been changed in this report to protect their privacy. We also wish to thank those human rights activists and government officials whose names have been withheld so as not to jeopardize their security or position.


They kept us for one month in the [police] station. There were about twenty-five to thirty people in the lockup. When there were more, we couldn't lie down. Whenever it rained, water used to seep in from the roof. There were no windows. I was beaten all over my body, and the investigating officer demanded Rs. 50,000 [$980] to release me.

-Taher Hussain, fifteen

Though nine years have passed since Pakistan ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, Pakistani children in conflict with the law continue to be denied the juvenile justice protections of the convention.

Juvenile justice, as conceptualized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments, is predicated on the adjudication of children's cases with a view to their rehabilitation and early reintegration into their communities. It entails separate custodial arrangements for children, a right to counsel, the timely processing of their cases, and the liberal use of alternative sentencing measures, such as release on probation or education and vocational training. The convention prohibits the imposition of capital punishment as well as torture and any other form of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

What children in Pakistan actually encounter in the criminal justice system is at stark variance with these provisions. Of the 2,700 juvenile prisoners in Punjab province during February 1998, 91 percent were awaiting the conclusion of their trials, a process that can take months or even years. While their trials are pending, children languish in overcrowded, often harsh detention facilities that offer few educational or recreational opportunities. Their situation is rendered all the more poignant by the low conviction rate for children: between 13 and 17 percent.

Although Pakistan's Criminal Procedure Code requires that detainees be brought before a magistrate within twenty-four hours of their arrest, most are held for extended periods of time in police custody. One child interviewed by Human Rights Watch had spent three months in police lockups, while several others had been held for at least two weeks without being produced before a magistrate. Such cases of illegal detention are often masked by the police practice of falsifying arrest dates.

Children and adults in police custody usually share the same cells and in most respects receive the same deplorable treatment. Detainees generally depend on their families for meals, and the cells in which they are held are sometimes severely overcrowded. While in police custody children and adults alike are routinely subjected to various forms of physical torture, including being beaten, hung upside down, or whipped with a rubber strap or specially designed leather slipper. Torture is employed to obtain confessions or information about a case, although police officers also rely on it to punish, intimidate, or extort payment from detainees. In addition, children are also vulnerable to sexual assault by police.

In May 1998, a thirteen-year-old boy, Ghulam Jilani, died in a police station in the northern town of Mansehra. Although the police filed a report asserting that the boy had committed suicide, a fellow detainee's account provided to Human Rights Watch indicated that he died after severe and prolonged torture. Public protests against the boy's apparent murder resulted in the arrest of the Mansehra police station's head constable and the launching of a judicial inquiry into the case. In most cases, however, human rights violations go unreported, due in large part to the lack of independent complaints mechanisms.

Following their appearance before a magistrate, children may either be remanded to police custody or transferred to a detention facility. Most such children, including those who have not yet been convicted, are held in prisons-usually in separate juvenile wards, although in some smaller prisons they are held with adults. At present, Pakistan has only two institutions specifically designated for juveniles; these are located in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, and Bahawalpur, a remote town in the southern part of Punjab province.

With the authorization and cooperation of the Punjab prisons department, Human Rights Watch in May 1998 visited the juvenile wards of two major urban prisons, Lahore District Jail and Rawalpindi Central Prison, as well as the Bahawalpur borstal, which holds all children in Punjab sentenced to terms of detention of two months or more. We interviewed a total of twenty children who were selected as broadly representative of the juvenile population with respect to age, offense, and status. All of their names have been changed in this report, with the exception of one child whose case had already prompted the public intervention of the president of Pakistan. The Sindh provincial government withheld permission to visit Pakistan's other juvenile institution, the Youthful Offenders Industrial School in Karachi. However, we gathered extensive information about conditions and inmate treatment in the industrial school and other institutions that we were unable to visit from judges, legal aid lawyers, and physicians who have visited them. In addition, prison directors in the facilities we visited freely described punishments and grievance procedures that deviated from domestic andinternational requirements, while government authorities and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provided us extensive data about the juvenile population.

Overcrowding is pervasive throughout the prison system. The juvenile ward of Lahore District Jail, for example, houses three times as many children as it was designed for. The Bahawalpur borstal is a rare exception; it operates below capacity due to the low conviction rate of children and the relatively low population density in the area.

Accommodations in the facilities we visited were exceedingly spare. Children were housed in dormitory-style barracks and slept either on the floor or on raised cement blocks; those in Lahore District Jail were not provided mattresses. Although the juvenile ward in Lahore appeared to be effectively segregated from the rest of the prison, children could easily mix with eighteen to twenty-one-year-olds, who were also housed in the juvenile ward. The institutions Human Rights Watch visited all had clean, flushing squat toilets, but a boy who had been held in Sahiwal Central Prison-one of Punjab's larger detention facilities-told us that it had dry, brick squat toilets.

The infirmary in the Bahawalpur borstal had no cooling devices other than fans and only rudimentary medical equipment. In its own evaluation of the country's penal system, the Pakistan Law Commission, a government body charged with proposing reforms to the country's laws and legal institutions, noted that prison hospitals lacked proper laboratories, equipment, and medicines. After examining 200 children in Karachi's industrial school in 1997, an independent Pakistani medical team reported that 57 percent were suffering from scabies and 11 percent had respiratory ailments. Personal hygiene in detention facilities is compromised by a shortage of water, as is the case at Bahawalpur, or congestion, as in Karachi's industrial school.

The provision of education and vocational training in the prisons and juvenile institutions is severely limited. Religious instruction appeared to have been made a priority in all three of the facilities we visited. This stemmed not only from the personal conviction of superintendents, but also from a law that grants prisoners a two-year remission in their sentence if they can demonstrate that they have memorized the entire Quran. The Pakistan Prison Rules only require the provision of secular education to convicts, who form a small proportion of the juvenile population. Professional instructors have been retained in the Bahawalpur borstal and Karachi's industrial school, both of which hold children convicted of crimes as well as those whose trials are under way. Staffing in Bahawalpur appeared insufficient, and classes were held in open barracks without teaching aids. In Rawalpindi, educated adult prisoners are assigned to teach juveniles, while inLahore, no secular education is provided children at all. Vocational training, where it is available, is essentially punitive. Convicted children in Bahawalpur who have been sentenced to "rigorous" imprisonment are required to work in six hours shifts with antiquated equipment at tasks such as tailoring, carpet-weaving, and carpentry.

The disciplinary measure most frequently imposed on children is solitary confinement for up to two or three weeks; those in Lahore District Jail are deprived of any communication with their family during that time. Human Rights Watch also observed several convicts attending classes in the borstal with their legs in iron shackles. The medical team that visited Karachi's industrial school in 1997 found that 17.4 percent of the children had been punished through hard labor or ill-treatment, including food deprivation and being forced to stand in the hot sun or maintain uncomfortable positions. Such ill-treatment, as well as shackling or solitary confinement, violates the ban on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its imposition is aggravated by the absence of impartial grievance mechanisms, including those that are required by law. The government of Punjab, for example, has yet to establish a visiting committee for the Bahawalpur borstal in accordance with the province's borstal rules.

Criminal activities on the part of lower-level prison staff are widespread. We heard credible accounts of staff involvement in extortion and narcotics trafficking, as well as sexual abuse of juvenile inmates. The Central Jail Staff Training Institute, a branch of the Interior Ministry, has made commendable efforts to impart knowledge of prisoners' rights under domestic and international law. However, prison authorities sometimes prevent staff from attending training classes, citing an inadequate staff-to-prisoner ratio as justification.

There are several general defects in the criminal justice system that have contributed to the massive overcrowding in prisons and prolonged detention of both adults and children:

C Police routinely fail to submit investigation reports within the fourteen-day period prescribed by law, and completion of the investigation is usually subject to further delays-often lasting more than a year.

C The Criminal Procedure Code states that bail amounts should not be excessive, but judges routinely set bail well beyond the reach of detainees' families. And while judges may grant bail to children under the age of sixteen charged with offenses that are otherwise non-bailable, they often choose not to.

C Court hearings are frequently adjourned, for a variety of reasons. These include the failure of prison authorities to produce detainees, police disregard of summons, the absence of adequate security and travel arrangements for witnesses, and administrative incompetence in scheduling hearings.

C There has been a decline, over the past twenty years, in the number of prisoners released on probation or parole. This reflects, in part, the inadequate staffing of the provincial reclamation and probation departments: there are at present only eleven probation and three parole officers for the entire province of Sindh. In addition, magistrates and legal aid lawyers report that probation officers frequently fail to perform their duties.

C The state provides legal assistance only when persons are appealing sentences of death, life imprisonment, or hadd (Quranic) punishments, such as amputation.

Eighty-seven percent of the juvenile convicts held in the Bahawalpur borstal during March 1998 were serving sentences of ten years or more, with the most common sentence being twenty-five years of imprisonment (on reaching age twenty-one, detainees are transfered to prisons). In addition, the sentences frequently include stiff fines, nonpayment of which can result in indefinite detention. This stems in part from the absence of social inquiry reports prepared by probation officers, as well as the failure of judges to take the child's economic circumstances into account. The requirement of diyat or blood-money payment for certain offenses imposes an extraordinary financial burden on children's families, and often ensures the continued incarceration of children beyond their provisional date of release. Both children and adults convicted of zina, sexual relations outside of marriage, face the hadd penalty of whipping in addition to their prison terms. Most of the juveniles at Bahawalpur who were convicted of zina were sentenced to receive thirty lashes of a whip-the maximum number that may be imposed on children under the law governing zina. Sentences to hadd punishments, however, must be confirmed by an appellate court. To date, no hadd punishments have actually been carried out.

Children, like adults, may in some cases be tried by special courts. Among the latter institutions are the jirgas, or tribal courts, that take the place of the judiciary in about one-third of the North-West Frontier Province. A legacy of British colonial administration in the area, the jirgas conduct trials without regardto due process guarantees, such as the right to retain counsel, present evidence, or cross-examine witnesses. Jirga decisions are countersigned by a federally appointed political agent and cannot be appealed to a higher court of law. In 1994, a jirga sentenced a thirteen-year-old boy, Ruman Ali, to forty-three years in prison for murder. In other parts of Pakistan, the government has periodically introduced emergency laws and special tribunals to curb ethnic and sectarian strife, often at the expense of civil rights and liberties. The Anti-Terrorism Act, introduced in 1997 and amended in April 1999, includes a provision overriding all other laws currently in force, giving anti-terrorism courts authority to try juveniles and sentence them to death, in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and provincial juvenile justice laws.

Of Pakistan's four provinces, only Sindh and Punjab currently have juvenile justice laws: the Sindh Children Act and the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance. In Sindh, more than twenty years after the province's juvenile law was brought into force, there is only one industrial school for juveniles, located in Karachi. Until recently, Sindh also had only one juvenile court, in Karachi. However, the provincial government in 1999 issued an order designating juvenile courts for all twenty-two districts in the province-an encouraging development, although the judges themselves are not being provided special training in juvenile justice administration.

Operating with few resources, the magistrate of Karachi's juvenile court attempts to conduct inquiries into each child's background and to ensure that parents attend trials, and in a proceeding observed by Human Rights Watch employed alternative sentencing measures. The juvenile court's departure from established patterns of adjudication in Pakistan is matched up to a point by Karachi's industrial school. The efforts of concerned NGOs, judges, and private donors have resulted in facilities that are superior to the Bahawalpur borstal and most prison juvenile wards in Pakistan, according to persons who have visited the industrial school. However, overcrowding and abusive practices by prison authorities there have reportedly replicated many of the conditions prevalent within the prison system as a whole.

The Punjab law was introduced in 1983, but is officially in force in just one of the province's eight divisions. The government of Punjab has recently taken welcome, albeit belated, steps toward instituting a province-wide juvenile justice system. These include designating juvenile courts in all districts of the province and laying plans for the establishment of four juvenile detention facilities-termed industrial schools under the Ordinance. However, these undertakings have been marred by administrative neglect. Although juvenile courts were designated in November 1998, they remained nonfunctional as of early March 1999, as neitherthe police nor the magistrates had directed cases to them. Moreover, the juvenile court judges, who also serve as appellate judges for the criminal courts and courts of first instance for certain offenses, have not received special training in the administration of juvenile justice. And as of mid-May 1999, no new funds had been allocated toward the establishment of industrial schools.

The Child Offenders Act, a bill to create a federal juvenile justice law, remains pending before Pakistan's Senate four years after its approval by a Senate standing committee. The bill would make some noteworthy contributions to the administration of juvenile justice in Pakistan, most importantly by requiring the designation of juvenile courts and abolishing capital punishment for children. In several key respects, however, it falls short of the protections accorded to children under the juvenile justice laws of Sindh and Punjab, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international juvenile justice standards.

The recommendations that follow have been drafted with a view toward the establishment of a comprehensive, nationwide system of juvenile justice in Pakistan. They include not only specific suggestions for the amendment of the Senate bill, but also proposals for institutional reform. Even a well-drafted law is unlikely to achieve its objectives in the absence of a trained and accountable police force, adequately staffed probation departments, judges that are familiar with the applicable domestic law and international standards, and facilities that are designed for the guidance and care of juvenile offenders. Most importantly, there should be a range of alternatives to the pre-trial detention of children and their institutional placement by the courts. Such arrangements will help avert the prolonged and damaging confinement of children following their arrest, and promote the early rehabilitation and reintegration into their communities of those found to have infringed the penal law.


To the Government of Pakistan

C Submit Pakistan's overdue second report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

C Implement the recommendations of the Pakistan Law Commission in its Report on the Criminal Justice System, 1997. These include requiring courts to take notice of negligence or undue delay in the submission of investigation reports, liberalizing the laws governing bail, and prohibiting the frequent adjournment of hearings.

C Implement the recommendations of the Pakistan Law Commission in its report, Reforming the Juvenile Justice System, submitted to the government in June 1999. These include designating juvenile courts in all provinces and establishing separate juvenile institutions, with facilities for health care, education, and training.

C In accordance with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, prohibit the imposition of the death penalty on anyone who was below the age of eighteen when the offense in question was committed. Commute all death sentences that have been imposed in such cases.

C Allocate additional resources, including increased staffing, for the provincial reclamation and probation departments.

Regarding the Police

C Institute mandatory training of police in the special needs and rights of children deprived of their liberty.

C Conduct prompt judicial inquiries into all custodial deaths, with public disclosure of findings stemming from the inquiries.

C Establish independent bodies with the authority to initiate investigations of police misconduct based on complaints or other information made available to them. The investigative bodies should have unrestricted access to police stations and all other places of detention used by police, including unofficial detention facilities. The monitoring bodies should be directly accessible to children and their families, and should include sessions court judges.

C Enforce disciplinary action, including dismissal, and initiate criminal prosecution against officers found to have tortured detainees or subjected them to other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

C Enforce disciplinary action and initiate criminal prosecution where warranted against police officers who fail to produce detainees before a magistrate within the prescribed twenty-four-hour period.

C Require police to immediately notify probation officers upon detaining a child. Probation officers should conduct prompt interviews with detained children and should verify the date and time of each child's arrest. Disciplinary action, and criminal prosecution if warranted, should be taken against officers found to have falsely recorded arrest dates.

C Make arrangements in each local jurisdiction to house those children who cannot immediately be returned to their families in an appropriate setting pending their appearance before a magistrate. Such arrangements should be consistent with the international standards governing pre-trial detention of children, and should preclude the commingling of adults and children. If remand homes are established for this purpose, they should be expressly reserved for the temporary custody of children.

Regarding the Prisons

C Implement the recommendations of the Pakistan Law Commission in its Report on Jail Reform, 1997. These include providing all prisons with facilities for education and vocational training as well as qualified medical officers and nursing staff, and requiring regular prison visits by high court and subordinate court judges.

C Make instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic and other subjects compulsory up to the matriculation standard (tenth grade), both for convicted children and those who are under trial. Allow prison superintendents to provide for education beyond the matriculation standard and to increase the number of subjects taught for all promising children, irrespective of gender. Amend Rule 298 of the Pakistan Prison Rules accordingly.

C Require the provision of sufficient and accredited teaching staff for each facility where children are held, as well as all necessary teaching aids and writing materials. Incorporate these requirements in Chapter 12 of the Pakistan Prison Rules.

C Eliminate the punishments of whipping, imposition of fetters, placement in cellular confinement, and assignment to hard labor. Amend Rules 583 and 584 of the Pakistan Prison Rules accordingly.

C Prohibit the appointment of convicts as prison officers. Repeal Rules 456, 458, and 459 of the Pakistan Prison Rules, which authorize and govern these appointments.

C Eliminate the mandatory censorship of all letters sent to or received by juvenile prisoners, and amend Rule 546 of the Pakistan Prison Rules accordingly. The Prison Rules should at least be consistent with Rule 16(1) of the Punjab Borstal Rules, which grants superintendents discretion to censor an inmate's correspondence but does not require censorship or extend such authority to lower-ranking staff.

C Ensure that the right of the child to communicate with family and friends is upheld at all times.

C Ensure the strict separation of adults from children in all detention facilities. Young adults aged eighteen to twenty-one should not be housed with children under the age of eighteen.

C Collect data in each facility with regard to the number of female prisoners under the age of eighteen. Arrange separate accommodations for them.

C Upgrade medical facilities in all detention centers to ensure adequate supplies of essential medicines and diagnostic equipment, the presence of a licensed medical practitioner on the premises at all times, and the provision of preventive medical care and psychological counseling.

C Ensure that all requests for medical care are honored.

C Upgrade the accomodations for children in all facilities to include adequate bedding, with mattresses for each child, flushing toilets, private visiting areas, and a range of recreational equipment.

C Meals should at a minimum conform to the requirements of the Pakistan Prison Rules and should be prepared in consultation with nutritionists.

C Establish modern vocational training centers in each facility housing children, with professional instruction in occupations likely to prepare them for future employment. Ensure that juveniles are adequately remunerated for any labor performed.

C Establish for each facility an independent complaints mechanism, with the authority to initiate and conduct investigations. The mechanism should be directly accessible to children and should include NGO representatives.

C Promptly investigate reports of sexual abuse by prison staff or other prisoners and suspend any accused staff from duty pending completion of the inquiry. Prompt medical examinations should be conducted in the event of such a complaint.

C Staff found to have used excessive physical force against children should be subject to strict disciplinary action, including criminal prosection where warranted. Findings of sexual abuse should result in criminal prosecution.

Regarding the Child Offenders Act (Bill), 1995

The Child Offenders Act, 1995, which is currently pending before Pakistan's Senate, should be redrafted accordingly:

C With regard to the adjudication of children's cases, define the term "child" as "a person who was below the age of eighteen years when the offense with which he or she is charged was committed."

C Prohibit the detention of any child in a police station, unless ordered by a judge. Such detention orders should be employed only in exceptional circumstances and for the shortest possible period of time. Mechanisms should be set up to monitor the strict enforcement of international standards governing the detention of juveniles, including the right to communicate with their family members.

C Direct courts to take into account the social and economic circumstances of the child in setting bail.

C Require juvenile courts, in disposing of cases, to take into account the character, age and circumstances of the child, as well as the report of the probation officer. Direct juvenile courts to dispose of cases with a view to promoting the best interests of the child, including his or her reintegration into society.

C Provide that placement in an institution should be an option of the last resort and for the least possible length of time.

C Provide that juvenile courts shall have recourse to guidance and supervision orders, counseling, probation, foster care, education and vocational training programs, and other alternative disposition measures.

C Require the professional training of all personnel charged with handling juveniles or their cases. Police, judicial authorities, and the staff of facilities having custody of children should be familiarized with the special needs of children, as well as their rights under Pakistani and international law.

C Prohibit the joint trial of adults and children. When an adult and child are accused of conjointly committing an offense, require the preparation of separate charge sheets and the adjudication of the child's case by the appropriate juvenile court.

C Prohibit the mandatory transfer of children under the age of eighteen from borstal institutions to prisons. Allow judicial authorities discretion to transfer children to homes, schools, or other institutions that are exclusively designated for juveniles and which afford equivalent or superior educational and vocational training opportunities. Determinations to retain or transfer a child should be made with a view to keeping children in the least restrictive environment possible.

Regarding Other Laws Affecting Juveniles

C Repeal all provisions of the Hudood Ordinances that are incompatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These include the Ordinances' establishment of disparate and subjective standards of majority for children according to sex; the inclusion of discriminatory provisions regarding the evidentiary value of testimony by girls and adult women; and the stipulation of whipping, amputation, and death by stoning as forms of punishment.

C Prohibit the trial of children by tribal courts, including those constituted under the authority of the Frontier Crimes Regulation. Provide accused children and their families transportation and accommodation, as needed,so that their cases may be heard by juvenile courts or ordinary courts of law empowered to try juveniles.

C The Anti-Terrorism Act denies accused persons fundamental due process guarantees, and should be repealed. In particular, repeal article 32 of the act, which overrides the Code of Criminal Procedure and all other laws currently in force, and include a provision stating that children under the age of eighteen are not be tried by anti-terrorism courts.

To the Governments of Punjab and Sindh Provinces

C Enforce the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance in all administrative divisions of Punjab province.

C Direct resources toward the training of all juvenile court judges in the applicable international and domestic laws governing juvenile justice administration.

C In accordance with the Sindh Children Act and the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance, ensure that all juvenile cases are systematically directed to juvenile courts, where they have been established, and alternatively to ordinary courts of law exercising juvenile court powers. Issue instructions accordingly to all police station house officers, magistrates, and judges of anti-terrorism and other special courts.

C Designate a Director of Borstal Institutions, with subordinate staff, and a Visiting Committee for the Bahawalpur Borstal, as required by the Punjab Borstal Act and the Punjab Borstal Rules. Transfer administrative responsibility for the Bahawalpur Borstal from the Punjab Prisons Department to the Director of Borstal Institutions.

C Appoint Chief Inspectors of Certified Schools in Sindh and Punjab, with subordinate staff, as required by the Sindh Children Act and Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance. Transfer administrative responsibility for the Youthful Offenders Industrial School, Karachi, to the Chief Inspector of Certified Schools.

C Allocate resources for the establishment or certification of additional industrial training schools for juveniles. The placement of children in anyinstitution should, however, be for the shortest possible period of time and an option of last resort.

To Donor Countries

C Earmark aid for the training of law enforcement officials, prison staff, and probation and parole officers on the rights of the child and on the handling of juvenile cases.

C Earmark aid for the creation of specialized courts for juveniles, and for the training of judicial authorities on the rights of the child and on the handling of juvenile cases.

C Earmark aid to improve conditions in juvenile institutions and prison juvenile wards to provide for the health, physical, educational, and recreational needs of children committed there.

C Use all available opportunities to press the government of Pakistan to hold law enforcement personnel and prison officers accountable for abuses committed against children, including arbitrary detention, extortion, and physical and sexual abuse.

C Use all available opportunities to urge the government of Pakistan to adopt a federal juvenile justice law consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other applicable international standards.

Table Of ContentsNext Page