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- Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - From Print Edition


Madadgaar National Helpline says that from January to October 2012 as many as 5,659 cases of violence against children have been recorded in Pakistan.


Out of them, 943 children were murdered, 1,170 injured, 302 sodomized, 204 trafficked, 410 married forcibly, 164 fell prey to Karo Kari and 260 went missing.


Moreover, 407 cases of sexual assault, 547 of torture, 323 cases of suicides, 530 cases of kidnapping and 176 vani cases of children were reported during the last 10 months, says the report released on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day.


Province-wise division shows that 2,597, the highest number of cases, were reported in Punjab, 1,574 in Sindh, 945 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 543 in Balochistan.


The report shared by the organisation has been compiled from the monitoring of different national and local newspapers.


“Children in Pakistan are forced to face the worst forms of violence, which is ruining our treasure,” said Zia Ahmed Awan, founder of Madadgaar National Helpline.


Awan said there were two kinds of violence and abuse against children- one is victimisation of children directly and another is indirectly through violence on their mothers at family level.


In both the situations, they do not only need legal assistance but also psychological, financial and social support.


Direct violence cases included corporal punishment, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, forced labour, forced marriage, recrimination by parents, threats and police torture.


In this situation, there was a need to look into an appropriate legal action to secure children’s life, provide them shelter, take steps to continue their education, resolve health issues, extend financial support and ensure psychological recovery, he said.


Awan said violence on mother also deeply affected children’s life and personality, because children were close to their mother and felt fear and insecurity in such conditions.


Inappropriate behavior of teachers at educational institutions also makes a child rebel, creating criminal tendencies.


Awan said growing cases of violence against children was a matter of grave concern and it was the duty of the government and concerned departments to set-up institutions at government level to safeguard the rights of children and to provide them protection.


Infographic by Faraz Maqbool