The parliament speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani has given a 10-day deadline for a probe team to finalize its decision on the Child Protection Act that was approved by the Afghan parliament’s lower house earlier this month but has been tied up in controversy since, primarily over the legal age of children.
The law, if enacted, will protect children and youth under 18.
The delegation is comprised of MPs as well as representatives of the Supreme Court and the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementing of the Constitution, or the ICOIC.
The delegates, Rahmani said, will discuss the legal age of a child.
“They should discuss the disputed article and make the fate of the law clear within ten days,” Rahmani said.
Some MPs are still divided over the law.
“This law doesn’t contradict Islamic sharia,” MP Fatima Kohistani said.
“This act has been approved in the absence of the quorum, and, meanwhile, false information has been given to the speaker,” MP Amir Khan Yar said, who is against the law and claims that an insufficient number of MPs were in the assembly when it was voted on.
Some senators said the bill should be sent to the Meshrano Jirga, the upper house of the Afghan parliament, for further proceedings based on the law.
“Any law which is approved by majority in the Wolesi Jirga must be sent to the senate,” said Gul Ahmad Azimi, a senator.
The law has 16 chapters and 118 articles.
Along with prohibiting the misuse and abuse of children, the law will secure the rights of children for citizenship, identity, and birth registration. Also, the law establishes freedom for children of religious minorities as well as the right of access to services, and the right to education.
The law will help victims of the illegal practice of Bacha Bazi and it will prohibit the recruitment of children as soldiers.
Government figures show that there are at least 3.8 million vulnerable children in Afghanistan.