KARACHI: Around 5,659 children in the country became victims of violence from January to October this year, according to a report released by Madadgar National Helpline.
A total of 943 children were found murdered, while 1,170 were injured in violent incidents, said the report. On Thursday, the Madadgar National Helpline also organised a series of painting and singing activities to mark Universal Children’s Day, originally scheduled for November 20.
According to the report, the highest number of violence cases against children, 2,597, was reported in Punjab, followed by 1,574 in Sindh, 945 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 543 in Balochistan.
While non-governmental organisations as well as minority legislators continue to push the government to draft legislation banning forced conversions and marriages, the Madadgar report points out that 410 children were forced into marriage, while another 176 were used to settle debts between tribes in a practice known as Vani.
The report added that 530 children were kidnapped and 547 were tortured. Authorities are still clueless about the whereabouts of 260 children. The government’s law and order apparatus as well as societal norms appear to have no impact on matters related to child abuse, as 407 sexual assault cases were reported till October.
Working for a better future
Children at the Siratul Jannah Orphanage, which is run by Ghufran Qureshi, were encouraged to draw and paint what they wished to be when they grew up. They later gathered to sing the national anthem.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.