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Saturday April 13, 2024

11 children sexually abused per day in 2023

By Myra Imran
March 01, 2024
The picture shows a silhouette of a child. — AFP/File
The picture shows a silhouette of a child. — AFP/File

Islamabad: The data on child sexual abuse compiled by Sahil shows that 11 children have been sexually abused per day during the year 2023. The statistics were reported in ‘Cruel Numbers 2023,’ a signature publication of Sahil, launched on Thursday with the support of National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).

The report says that in the year 2023, a total number of 4213 child abuse cases have been reported from all four provinces including Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

The total number of cases include reported cases of child sexual abuse (CSA), cases of abduction, cases of missing children, and cases of child marriages. The report findings were presented by Executive Director Sahil Manizeh Bano at the launch event. Gender divide analysis of the data shows that out of the total reported cases of child abuse, 2251 (53%) of victims were girls and 1962 (47%) were boys.

The reported age shows that children are most vulnerable to abuse in the age group of 6-15 years, in which more boys than girls' victims were reported. Moreover, children as young as 0-5 years were also sexually abused.

The abuser's category of Cruel Numbers 2023 indicates that acquaintances are still the most involved in child sexual abuse, along with relative, family members, strangers and women abettors.

The geographical divide statistics shows that out of the total 4,213 reported cases, 75% were reported from Punjab, 13% cases from Sindh, 7% cases from Islamabad capital territory, 3% cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and 2% cases from Baluchistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

Speaking on this occasion, Chairperson NCHR Rabia Javeri Agha said that, “We have to seriously address the issue of child abuse. The numbers reported by Sahil are indeed cruel, but a reality that we must confront. In view of these alarming figures, it is sad that the Government of Pakistan still does not have a notified national action plan on child abuse.

Executive Director Sahil Manizeh Bano said that Article 25 A in the Constitution of Pakistan provides free education from 5 to 16 years. “This must be implemented to ensure education of children. There is a dire need to improve the curriculum to provide life-skills based education.”

The Cruel Number 2023 shows that among total reported cases, 91% were registered with the police. The report termed it is a positive sign indicating active role of police in addressing the issue. It shows that the cases of only CSA were 2021, with both genders equally victimized. A total number of 61 cases reported murder after sexual abuse and a total number of 1,833 of cases were reported of abduction. The number of missing children was 330 and of child marriages was 29 with 27 cases of girls, and 2 cases of boy.

This year, Sahil also monitored cases of children up to 18 years, who had suffered some kind of injury or death. Out of a total of 2,184 cases monitored, highest numbers were of children were 694 drowned 401, died in accidents 286, murdered 121 tortured, 111 injured, 110 committed suicide and died from 103 electric shocks.