Children in the country remain among the most vulnerable segments of the population. Child sexual abuse has been recognised as a serious violation of human well-being and the law yet no effective mechanism has been developed in the country to prevent it. It is, sadly, a problem of great magnitude that can affect children of any age, sex, ethnicity, and socio-economic class.
Provincial Minister of Social Welfare and Human Rights Mir Asadullah Baloch has inaugurated first child protection model unit in Quetta, which will ensure safety of children.
Provincial Minister of Social Welfare and Human Rights Mir Asadullah Baloch has said that the implementation of the Child Protection Act is aimed at bringing justice to children, who are victims of sexual and physical abuse, deprivation and oppression.
While addressing at the inauguration of Child Protection Unit in Quetta in an collaboration with UNICEF and Social Welfare Department. Former Minister Roshan Khurshid Brocha, DG Social Welfare Ahsanullah, other department officials, a large number of officers, NGOs and civil society representatives attended the ceremony.
Speaking to participants at the inauguration ceremony, the Provincial Minister expressed happiness over the implementation of the Child Protection Act, which was passed in 2016 and said that its implementation was due to important role of UNICEF and the Social Welfare Department.
He said, “if society won’t provide rights of children, children can become tool of the criminals, which affects the entire society. The policy makers should think beyond the individual and personal interests for the whole society,” Asadullah Baloch said.
Earlier, the national assembly of Pakistan passed a resolution calling for public hanging of child molesters. While the resolution was non-binding, meant for further debate and discussion only, it was met with sharp criticism. Those opposing the resolution included some members of the ruling party itself led by its federal Minister for human rights.
Formerly, we had laws against sodomy or murder only, but in 2016 we enacted laws criminalising exploitation, abuse, trafficking etc. In January 2020, the parliament passed Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act 2020 which aims to protect and raise an alert when a child goes missing or is abducted; the Act applies to Islamabad Capital Territory only.
However, Child Abuse is unfortunately a common occurrence in Pakistan which tries to cover itself under the guise of religion but it is shocking and sad that pedophilia or child abuse is rampant in Pakistani society. Child abuse haunts Pakistani society due to many reasons. There are often chances that the perpetrator might be a family member and the lack of communication gap between parents and their children and their blind trust for family members contributes to child abuse occurring in this society.
Nothing serious is being done at the state level. Our negligence towards protecting our children results in hundreds of helpless children going through hell. Unfortunately, welfare and protection of children are not amongst our priorities.”
Pakistan is committed to protecting the rights of its children. It ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990. The CRC is considered the most comprehensive document enshrining all fundamental rights of children. According to the CRC, through legislation the state has to develop a child protection system to ensure optimum child development and protection.
Moreover, Appropriate and proper training should be provided by the Pakistani government to police, doctors, NGO’s and those dealing with this subject in order to provide a protective environment for children in Pakistani society. Last but not the least sex education should be mandatory in the Pakistani education system and the taboo regarding it should be erased so our children can live in a safer environment.