ISLAMABAD: At least 11 children became victims of sexual abuse everyday while almost 100 were murdered after sexual assault in 2016, a 10 per cent increase in such cases compared to the previous year, a report launched on Wednesday stated.
Out of the sexual abuse victims, 41 per cent were boys. As many as 2,410 girls and 1,729 boys were sexually abused last year.
The report, ‘Cruel numbers 2016’ revealed that 4,139 children were sexually abused last year out of which 76 per cent cases were reported from rural areas whereas 24 per cent were reported from urban areas.
The report has been compiled after monitoring and gathering data from 86 national, regional and local newspapers.
Punjab reported the highest number of cases (2,676) in 2016 which were followed by 987 cases reported from Sindh, 166 from Balochistan, 156 from Islamabad, 141 from Khyber-Pakhtunkwa, nine from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and four cases from Gilgit-Baltistan.
Of the total around 78 per cent of cases were registered with the police, 32 per cent were unregistered, whereas police refused to register an FIR for 142 cases.
The study reveals that among major crime categories, 1,445 cases of abduction were reported, followed by 502 rape cases, 453 cases of sodomy, 217 gang rape cases, 268 gang sodomy and 362 cases of attempt of child sexual abuse.
A 19 per cent increase has been reported in abduction cases which have increased from 1,386 cases in 2015 to 1,654 cases in 2016 bringing the number of abducted children to five per day.
The highest percentage of vulnerable age group among both boys and girls was reported between the ages of 11 and 15 years and the second vulnerable group between the ages of 6 and 10 years.
Around 97 per cent of the children were abused once and in three per cent of the cases children were abused for more than a day, says the report.
A majority of the abusers were found to be acquaintances of the victims (1,765), 798 were strangers.
The report also highlights the 176 cases of child marriage reported in 2016.
“Child sexual abuse is a global issue and challenging for every country to address,” First Secretary Development to Royal Norwegian Embassy Tom Jorgen said.
He said that there is a need to address the entire child protection to bring some significant and meaningful change in society.
National Commissioner for Children Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi stated that there are around 100 million children in Pakistan to be looked after.