The number of reported child sexual abuse cases in Pakistan has risen by 10 per cent in the last year, with roughly 11 children abused every day, according to a report released on Wednesday by non-government organisation (NGO) Sahil.
Sahil said in the report that a total of 4,139 cases were registered in 2016, an increase from 3,768 in 2015.
The report added that 2,410 girls and 1,729 boys were victims of sexual exploitation last year.
Some 45pc of the victims were between the ages of six and 15.
Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi, the National Commissioner for Children, said at the report’s launch that the government’s own research shows that at least 40 million children in Pakistan living below the poverty line were in dire need of protection.
Sohail Ahmed, programme officer at Sahil, proposed separate desks for reporting child abuse cases at police stations, child friendly courts and special training for all staff dealing with children including teachers, doctors, and policemen.
In 2015 Pakistan took a step towards punishing those guilty of abusing young girls with life imprisonment or even death after a parliamentary committee voted to amend current laws.
But the amendment only appears to address the sexual abuse of girls aged under 14 and not boys.
In 2015, at least 280 children were filmed being sexually abused by a gang of 25 men who used the hundreds of videos they produced to blackmail the youngsters' parents.
Most of the victims who are from Husain Khanwala village near Kasur were less than 14-years-old.
Their families had also been blackmailed by the gang since 2009.
The abusers allegedly tried to extort money from parents of victims, selling clips of the videos locally for 40 rupees each if they did not pay up.
A property dispute allegedly brought the issue to the surface.