Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Child abuse 'growing' in Pakistan

excerpt from:
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Child abuse 'growing' in Pakistan

By M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi

Children in Pakistan are increasingly exposed to abuse, kidnapping and violence, according to a new report by a human rights organisation.

The number of reported cases involving children has more than doubled from 617 in 2006 to 1,595 last year, it says.

Poor law enforcement and old social attitudes towards children's rights are some of the reasons to blame, it adds.

Pakistan remains a major conduit for the trafficking of children from South Asia to the Middle East and Europe.

Not enforced

"Children, like women, continue to be vulnerable because they are considered personal property in our feudal-minded society," says Zia Awan, chief of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA).

The organisation monitors and compiles cases of child abuse and kidnapping with funding from the UK-based NGO, Save the Children.

Mr Awan says a major reason for the increase in the incidents of child abuse is the fact that the issue does not figure on the agenda of the law enforcers.

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