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Activists push to finalize child protection act

KABUL (TOLO News): Rights activists and some members of the Afghan parliament on Friday urged the Afghan Meshrano Jirga (upper house of parliament) to approve the Law on Protection of as soon as possible.

This comes after lawmakers in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) approved the Law on Protection of Child Rights—or “Child Protection Act”–on Monday after years of wrangling over the legal age of boys and girls.

The law will help victims of the illegal practice of Bacha Bazi and it will prohibit the recruitment of children as soldiers.

“This law is not about the marital eligibility of the child, it’s about the protection of the children, particularly, those children who are in need of support,” said former MP Fawzia Kofi.

“137 members voted in favor of this law, including the speaker of the house, so this law is approved and there should be no doubt about it,” said MP Shereen Mohseni.

“We should search for some decrees about this issue, but this should be within the framework of the international conventions and also preserve the Islamic values in Afghanistan,” said legal expert Basir Yousufi.

But some opposition lawmakers argue that some articles of the law were in contrast to the Islamic law, and they say its advocates have other intentions:

“We do not have any problem in the Law on the Protection of Children, but the law has been exploited under the guise of protecting the children,” said Shah Zaman Tarakhel, MP.

Government figures show that there are at least 3.8 million vulnerable children in Afghanistan.

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