Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh and Director-General of Sindh Judicial Academy Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar inaugurated on Thursday two child courts in the Malir and East districts with an aim to take the criminal justice reform agenda forward.
Efforts were made to establish child courts in the province aimed at providing expeditious, child-sensitive and fair justice to children in contact or in conflict with the law as envisaged in the Juvenile Justice System Act (JJSA) 2018, and other relevant child protection laws and the Constitution.
The SHC transformed the physical spaces to make a child-friendly and conducive environment for the children visiting the courts with the assistance of Group Development Pakistan (GDP).GDP is a local civil society organisation working on protecting and promoting child rights and strengthening child protection and justice with children across Pakistan.
Following the decision of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) back in 2019 to establish model courts for women and children in each district of Pakistan, GDP has worked closely with the state actors to provide technical and financial assistance for establishing 9 child courts.
Among those nine courts, one is in Punjab, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one in ICT, one in Balochistan, and two are in Sindh.
As a result, a total of 1,921 children (1,490 boys, 431 girls) in conflict or contact with the law have accessed justice services through the pilot child courts.
To-date, 632 justice actors have been trained on child rights, child justice, and child protection via strong support from judicial academies.