KARACHI: Slightly less than half of the 136 children that went “missing” from the country in the first six months of 2012 disappeared from Karachi, according to a report released by the Madadgaar National Helpline on Wednesday. Authorities have managed to locate only five children so far.
The report was compiled from incidents reported in newspapers. Eighty seven boys and 49 girls reportedly went missing during the period.
June proved to be the worst of the six months as 29 disappearance cases were reported from the country, followed by May (27), April (23), February (21), January (19) and March (17). Eighty one children disappeared from Karachi, according to the report.
Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) president Zia Ahmed Awan said that more children tend to disappear during natural disasters. “Hundreds of children went missing during the 2005 earthquake, and then during floods in Sindh.” He added that the government should try its best find the children and added that parents and teachers should also keep a close eye on children.
The LHRLA president also blamed law enforcement agencies for their “indifferent” attitude and the inordinate amount of time to swing into action once such incidents are reported to them. “Missing children are not only facing sexual harassment, but are forced to become beggars and prostitutes,” added Awan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2012.