Child sexual abuse

Published May 15, 2022

IT is interesting that despite the strictures of society and political leaders on community evils, there is little attempt to look deeper into the issue of child sexual abuse in the country. It is a question worth exploring why, despite the existence of several laws made to protect children against abuse and newer initiatives such as the Zainab Alert app, this scourge is not only rampant but endemic in many parts of Pakistan. A list recently shared by Sahil, a leading NGO that focuses on child protection, names the 10 districts where this abhorrent practice is most common.

According to data shared by the organisation, the most number of cases continue to surface in Kasur district that reported 298 cases in 2021. Kasur, where a huge child pornography ring was exposed some years ago, was also the home of little Zainab, whose rape and murder, had led to violent protests. Kasur is followed by the capital twin districts of the country — Rawalpindi and Islamabad — with 292 and 247 cases respectively. The abnormal increase in cases from Rawalpindi and Islamabad indicate the possible presence of a trafficking ring. Other districts include Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Lahore, Okara, and Muzaffargarh in Punjab, and Khairpur in Sindh. According to the NGO, more than half the total number of reported cases (3,852) have emerged in these districts. Sahil officials say these figures have been gathered from a thorough analysis of news reports from 85 newspapers. The officials also revealed that sexual abuse of boys from six to 10 years was on the rise. These figures are probably just the tip of the iceberg. Abusers are often known to the victims, and in many cases the matter is never reported to the police for reasons of shame, ostracisation and fear of revenge. The absence of a sensitised police force has also prevented victims and their families from coming forward. No law is going to do much good until the authorities stop tiptoeing around the matter and abusers are tracked down and punished.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

THE massacre of innocents continues in the killing fields of Gaza, as most of the world looks away. Moreover, many ...
Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...