Parents’ protection ordinance

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IN what could be called an important step, PTI government has promulgated an ordinance for protection of parents against forced eviction by their children from homes.

The Ordinance issued by President Arif Alvi makes the commission of such acts liable to punishment to a one-year jail term and fine.

It also grants rights to parents to evict a child and his spouse from the home owned by them.

Indeed the basic purpose of this law is to address the issue of vulnerability of elderly parents.

We are a Muslim society and Islam stands out as the only religion that lays great emphasis on kind, tolerant and respectful treatment of parents. However it is unfortunate that instances of abuse of parents are cropping up in our society.

According to data, 25.2 per cent of parents in Islamabad have experienced physical assault.

This is an alarming figure revealing that over a fourth of parents in the federal capital are being mistreated by their own children.

The case of Balochistan is also shocking where 14.7pc of parents have experienced oppressive behaviour from their own children.

While 21.8pc elderly men in the province have experienced maltreatment, about 6pc elderly women have also been subjected to disrespect.

Sindh follows next with 8.2pc of parents being mistreated by their children, with Punjab at 6.1pc and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 2.4pc.

In this backdrop, legal safeguards will protect them from becoming homeless and provide them legal support to evict abusive children living with them through institutional process.

However, this is a highly sensitive matter and implementation of this law will remain an issue.

The question is how elderly people will access the police, as abusers will not allow them to do so.

It is, therefore, important that the ordinance be laid before Parliament to prepare such a law that addresses this very issue of accessibility of elders to police or local administration in case of any abuse.

One option may be providing an online platform to the elderly people to lodge complaints.

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