ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been listed as districts with second and third highest numbers of child abuse cases among 10 districts of the country.

According to information shared by a non-governmental organisation working for child protection, Sahil, on its twitter handle, said Kasur topped the list with 298 cases.

It said 292 cases were reported in the district of Rawalpindi and 247 in Islamabad even though the federal capital had a higher literacy rate and slightly more law-abiding citizens.

Sahil said in its findings that in the year 2021 out of the total 3,852 cases more than half — 52 per cent — had been reported from these 10 districts. After six years, Kasur is on the top with 298 cases.

Cases increased during Covid-19 outbreak

It also reported that Faisalabad came in the fourth place with 237 cases followed by Gujranwala with 198 cases, Sialkot 186, Khairpur 152 and Lahore 150 cases.

As many as 120 cases of child abuse were reported in Okara and another 107 in Muzaffargarh.

The number of cases of child abuse reported by Sahil in 2021 were 2,000. Incidents of child sexual abuse increased by 14pc in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period the year before, the NGO had reported.

The organisation, which has worked on child protection against sexual abuse since 1996, blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the increase in the cases, arguing that children were home and more than 55pc of their abusers were acquaintances.

The situation was no better in the year 2018 when Sahil reported that cases of child abuse had increased by 11pc compared to 2017 with more than 10 children facing some form of abuse every day in Pakistan.

The NGO said 3,832 cases were reported in the year 2018. In comparison, 2,445 such incidents were reported by newspapers between January and December 2017.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2022

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