The National Assembly has passed the Zainab Alert Bill.
During Friday's session, the government and opposition unanimously passed the bill that will introduce a response and recovery mechanism for missing children.
It was presented on October 8, 2019 and presented before a standing committee on Thursday.
An agency will be set up under this bill that will closely work with the 1099 helpline and other helplines in several districts. When a complaint is made via these helplines, it should be immediately transferred to the agency so an investigation can immediately begin.
Zainab Alert has been named after seven-year-old Zainab Ansari who was raped and murdered in Kasur. Her case sparked national outrage and a conversation about child abuse.
The agency will operate out of Islamabad and engage the PTA, social media and other institutions to create a helpline and SMS service to spread information about missing children.
Special teams, called MCRRTs, will be set up and headed by a senior police officer. These teams will work with the local police in the cases of missing children.
The bill has proposed the death sentence, life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years for people who abduct children.