Lobbying and advocacy
As part of our commitment to child protection, we are involved in lobbying and advocacy activities to improve laws for the protection of children, especially laws pertaining to police reporting and investigation of missing children cases. We engage relevant stakeholders at every level of decision making including provincial legislators in Sindh and Punjab, federal legislators and the Federal Ministry of Human Rights.
Since 2006, we have been at the forefront of the struggle to get missing children cases declared as a cognizable offence as well as the struggle to increase the legal age of a child. After more than a decade of hard work, our efforts bore fruit in the form of the Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act (ZARRA) of 2020, which has finally declared missing children as a cognizable offence and fixed the legal age of a child to anyone below 18 years.
We were not only instrumental in lobbying for this new law, but also worked closely with the Federal Ministry of Human Rights in the drafting of the bill in 2018. We were subsequently invited by the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights in February 2020 to propose amendments to the new law before it was approved in the Senate.