ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Child Abuse on Tuesday directed Ministry of Human Rights to efficiently work to stop serious offences against children such as pornography, exposure to seduction, sexual abuse, cruelty and trafficking in the country.
The committee met here at the Parliament Lodges on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Senator Nuzhat Sadiq. The Ministry of Human Rights also submitted report on the findings of child abuse cases before the committee.
Muhammad Arshad from the Human Right Minstry while briefing the committee said that the child abuse ratio has increased considerably in Punjab province where the number of cases are the high followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
He said since 2013 a whopping 17, 862 cases of child sexual abuse have been reported in the country. Missing child, torture and custody, child molestation and murder has also been reported across the country.
He stated that a non-profit organisation called Sahil, a partner organisation working on children rights and their protection against sexual abuse has compiled the data. He informed the Senate body the ministry was thoroughly working on a plan of action on child and there are child commissions at federal or provincial levels, which are working efficiently to get rid from this menace.
He further said that there are Child Protection Centres in every province to enhance the coordination mechanism of department working under Human Right Ministry.
He said that ministry has established “national commission on child right” in all over the country, adding that the ministry also has initiated helpline for child abuse and research study or conferences to eliminate most evil curse from the society.
The Senate committee members said that there is no proper system and data at federal or provincial level and it should be taken seriously on government level. They stressed upon the need for reforming the law or possible suggestion or data base, or challenge is to make children, parents, and communities aware that such violations do occur and how they may be prevented as well as ensure that the warning signs are detected as early to help the recovery and reintegration of the child. This can be done through education.
Members of the committee said that there are many NGOs and social welfare organizations working for child abuse, but there is need for provision in all existing social institutions and civil society work unanimously.
“The media can play a very effective role in countering this menace by launching an awareness campaign about child sexual abuse. By creating awareness among the masses, this evil practice can be curtailed.
They expressed concerns over the absence of Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari and urged to ensure her presence in next meeting of the committee. The meeting was attended besides others by Senators Mian Raza Rabbani, Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Sherry Rehman, Sitara Ayaz.