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May 27, 2019

Call to set up special police unit to tackle child abuse cases


May 27, 2019

Islamabad: In order to tackle the increasing number of child abuse and gender based violence cases in the country, the government shall establish a special unit in the police department.

The suggestion was shared by the Chairperson National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Khawar Mumtaz in an interview with ‘The News’. She also suggested better connection, coordination and monitoring of the mechanisms created by the government and private organizations to provide relief to the victims of gender based violence and child abuse.

Khawar also called for a consolidated helpline instead of different helplines created by departments responsible for providing relief to the survivors of victim’s families and highlighted the need for training and sensitization of police force to deal with such cases.

“We have comprehensive laws and people are reporting these cases in the police. Now the problem is the implementation of these laws and the behaviour and approach of the departments responsible for providing justice to the victims,” she said.

Citing the example of Farishtay’s case, Khawar said that the family came to police station for justice but the FIR was registered with the delay of four days and the father of the girl was asked to clean the police station. “This shows the insensitivity of the law enforcers towards such cases. If this is the approach in the capital, what can we expect in other parts of the country?”

She said that it is the responsibility of the law enforcing agencies to register the case under right clauses, behave with victims with right sensitivity, perform basic procedures such as medico legal and provide efficient legal aid to the victims. “This is where the system fails those who dare to stand for their rights and register the cases.”

Talking about the role of parents, she agreed that parents need to inform children about the likely dangers but said that they could not hide children at homes. “In most cases, the perpetrators of child sexual abuse are relatives or family friends. Ultimately, it the state that is responsible of providing the safe environment for everyone by enforcing the law and creating fear of punishment for the criminals,” said the Chairperson while also stressing for basic skills training in schools so that children identify the abusers and can protect themselves from that person.

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