Confronting the child abuse in Pakistan

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The solution for the issue of child abuse doesn’t lie in the mere suspension of police officials but an improvement in the police response and ensuring action in such cases can help track down the growing menace.

child_abuse_Pakistan
Photo credit Dawn.

Sahil – a non-profit organization working for awareness on child protection unveiled the disturbing figures regarding the number of child abuse cases over the last six months. According to its findings around 1,304 cases of sexual abuse of children have been reported by the media across the country lest the number of unreported ordeals involving the menace of child abuse.

The worst part of the discussion is that most of the time people don’t consider to report such ordeals either because of low hopes of getting justice or due to fear of bringing bad name among the kith and kin.

How the state responds to such social evils is the matter of utmost concern because this perhaps is the only way to bring the victims and their families back to the normal life and to give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators.

What Child Protection Bureau is doing as stated by the chairperson of the bureau Sarah Ahmed while talking to BBC Urdu is to console the victims, sensitizing the police action on the child abuse, and to ensure the arrest or follow up of the case till the arrest of the culprit.

Training on the part of police officials on how to respond to such cases when they got reported is also on the cards, she added. Would these measures help to bring down the number of reported cases? The answer doesn’t lie in the affirmation.

As far as premier’s response is concerned he informed the people through his social media account that there would be accountability for all. His response came in the backdrop of recent cases of child abuse in Kasur.

He also reprimanded the police inaction and inefficient attitude and told the people about the actions that have been taken so far in the form of removal or suspension of concerned high ups in the police including DSP, SP, DPO, adding that the major overhaul of the police department in Kasur is on the cards.

From these statements the importance of police reforms is evident. Also, it emerged that the major overhaul is needed but not only in the Kasur but within the entire country.

What steps can help to bring down the incidents of child abuse?

  • Educating children regarding self-protection and safety.
  • Training must be imparted to teachers so as to guide the children on how to respond to any such incident.
  • Tutorials on media outlets educating the children and elders regarding the protection by any such ordeal.
  • Role of the civil society can do wonders as far as bringing awareness on the issue is concerned.
  • Awareness must be given to the people about the existence of relevant state laws.
  • Sensitizing the police response on such issues to ascertain the state’s response to the cases of child abuse.
  • Police as first respondents must not act to blame the children or their families as happened in the recent cases of child abuse in Chuniya.
  • A robust mechanism must be in place to ensure the actions taken in such cases. Some king of monitoring evaluation can help so far.
  • Exemplary punishment to the culprits, of course, can’t be negated but moral training of the society is also a collective responsibility.

The solution doesn’t lie in the mere suspension of police officials but an improvement in the police response and ensuring action in such cases can help track down the issue of child abuse.

Want to add something? Share your thoughts in the comment section below

  • Please remove the victim boy’s picture from the front page. It is terribly depressing. Until public hanging of rapists is made a law, such heinous crimes will continue to be on the increase.

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