LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said: “It is appalled to learn that a ten-year-old girl, who disappeared from her home on 15 May in Islamabad, was found dead, allegedly raped and murdered. There is a chilling resemblance to the case of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur, which points to an increasingly brutal society in which children are abused and discarded at whim.”
This is one of at least seven cases to have surfaced in recent months, with reports of children as young as two having been raped. Some were left to return home and live with the trauma they had undergone. Others were killed and their bodies similarly dumped, leaving their families to relive their ordeal. An NGO’s recent report indicates that over 3,800 children were subjected to some form of abuse in 2018 – with 11 percent more cases reported than in 2017, it said.
It is critical that stronger, more vigilant mechanisms be enforced to protect young children – and young girls in particular who are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Police stations, the hospitals where such cases are examined, the courts and society overall must become more child-friendly and willing to provide the protection and support that both children and their families need in such circumstances. No society can afford to be this callous where its children are concerned, it said.