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Child abuse in Pakistan

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By Muhammad Fazil

Child abuse is a serious issue in Pakistan, affecting the lives of countless children. It encompasses various forms, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect. Here’s an overview of the situation as of my last knowledge update in September 2021:

Child abuse is prevalent in Pakistan. According to a UNICEF report from 2019, around 61% of children in Pakistan experience some form of violence during their childhood.

– *Physical Abuse*: This involves the use of force that causes injury or bodily harm. It can range from slapping and hitting to more severe forms of violence.
– *Emotional Abuse*: This includes constant criticism, humiliation, or rejection, which can have long-lasting psychological effects on a child’s development.
– *Sexual Abuse*: Involves any form of unwanted sexual contact or exploitation of a child, which is a grave violation of their rights.
– *Neglect*: This occurs when a child’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, and medical care are not adequately met.

– *Socioeconomic Factors*: Poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to basic services contribute to the vulnerability of children to abuse.
– *Cultural and Traditional Norms*: Some cultural practices may inadvertently lead to situations where children are at risk of abuse or exploitation.
– *Lack of Education and Awareness*: Limited knowledge about child rights and available support services can hinder efforts to prevent abuse.

Pakistan has laws in place to protect children, such as the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), 1860, and the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000. However, implementation and enforcement of these laws can be challenging.

There are various organizations and NGOs in Pakistan working to address child abuse, provide support to victims, and raise awareness about child rights. These include organizations like Sahil, Rozan, and Child Rights Movement.

Many cases of child abuse go unreported due to fear, stigma, and a lack of trust in the legal system.
The existing support services and facilities for abused children are often insufficient and unevenly distributed.

– Promoting awareness about child rights and the importance of reporting abuse is crucial.

Ensuring that laws are effectively implemented and enforced.

Providing safe spaces, counseling, and rehabilitation for abused children.

The writer is the student of journalism studies: [email protected]

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