4pc increase in child abuse cases reported in 2020

Published April 9, 2021
According to the report, 2020 saw a four per cent increase in child abuse cases compared to 2019.
—Creative Commons/File
According to the report, 2020 saw a four per cent increase in child abuse cases compared to 2019. —Creative Commons/File

ISLAMABAD: As many as 2,960 major crimes against children were reported in the four provinces, including Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) in 2020.

According to data released by an NGO, eight children were abused every day in Pakistan in one form or the other while 51pc of the victims were girls and 49pc boys.

The report, ‘Cruel numbers 2020’ is a compilation of statistics on crimes against children, including child sexual abuse, abduction, missing children and child marriages. The report was compiled by Sahil, based on cases reported in 84 national and regional newspapers in 2020. The report was launched at a virtual event on Thursday.

According to the report, 2020 saw a four per cent increase in child abuse cases compared to 2019.

Out of the reported cases, 985 were of sodomy, 787 rape, 89 pornography and child sexual abuse and 80 were of murder after sexual abuse. Cases of abduction, missing children and child marriages were 834, 345 and 119, respectively.

As many as eight children were abused every day in Pakistan in one form or the other.

Eight children abused every day in Pakistan in one form or other and 51pc of victims were girls, says report

Children most vulnerable to abuse belonged to the age group of 6-15 years. Moreover, children as young as 0-5 years were also sexually abused.

The data showed that more than 80pc of the abusers were known to the children. In most of the cases, the abusers were either acquaintances (1,780) or service providers (109) such as teachers, shopkeepers and drivers. In a total of 91 cases, family members and relatives and in 92 cases neighbours were involved. In only 468 cases, strangers abused the children.

Out of the total 2,960 cases, 1915 (65pc) were reported from rural and 1,045 (35pc) from urban areas.

Sahil’s Executive Director Manizeh Bano presented the analysis of the cases of pornography which had increased from 70 (2019) to 89 (2020). She said another alarming fact was that cases of child sexual abuse after abduction had increased by 91pc compared to 2019.

Sahil’s Board of Director Sana Mir and goodwill ambassador Freiha Altaf spoke on the importance of child protection and safety. Member National Assembly (MNA) Mehnaz Akbar Aziz also virtually joined the event.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

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