17,860 chil­dren abused

Gulf News - - Pakistan -

In the last few years, more than 17,000 Pak­istani chil­dren were vic­tims of abuse and ha­rass­ment. A re­port by the Min­istry of Hu­man Rights pre­sented in the Na­tional Assem­bly yes­ter­day re­vealed that 17,862 cases of child abuse have been re­ported in the coun­try since 2013.

The gov­ern­ment depart­ment part­nered with an NGO called Sahil, which works on child pro­tec­tion to bring to light the tragedy of the chil­dren.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, at least 10,620 girls and 7,242 boys have suf­fered abuse in the four years from Jan­uary 2013—Jan­uary 2017.

A to­tal of 13,267 First In­for­ma­tion Re­ports (FIRs) against child abuse were lodged with the po­lice dur­ing the four-year pe­riod, the re­port stated.

How­ever, only 112 cases were de­cided upon in which the ac­cused were con­victed. Among those, 25 con­victs were awarded death sen­tences while 11 con­victs were given life sen­tences. In 10 cases, the ac­cused were sen­tenced to 25 years in prison. “This grue­some fig­ure is a stark re­minder of the lack of im­ple­men­ta­tion of law in Pak­istan in prevent­ing child abuse and ne­glect”, child rights ac­tivist Saima Shah said.

Alap­ta­gin Khan, In­struc­tor in Psy­chi­a­try at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, be­lieves that “Child abuse is a na­tional prob­lem. It’s not con­fined to a sin­gle city, a sin­gle per­pe­tra­tor or a gang ex­ploit­ing young chil­dren.”

The data was shared a day af­ter coun­try’s Na­tional Assem­bly passed the ‘The Crim­i­nal Law (Amend­ment) Bill, 2017’ which aims to en­force harsh pun­ish­ment for heinous crimes against chil­dren, like child pornog­ra­phy and sex­ual abuse of mi­nors.

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