ISLAMABAD: In the backdrop of the Zainab murder case, a report of a task force constituted by the Federal Ombudsman to diagnose the systematic issue of child abuse, has suggested certain measures to curb the menace.
The report titled Mapping of Issues and Response to Sexual Violence Against Children recently submitted before the Steering committee on ‘Kasur Tragedy & Redressal of systematic issues’ has proposed 11-point remedial measures to precent and control the rising cases of child abuse in different parts of the country, especially Kasur.
The document highlighted the authorities failure in controlling such incidents and tracing culprits of mafia involved in child pornography.
Unfortunately, the report revealed Punjab as the most dangerous province for children where nearly 1,089 cases of sexual violence out of the total 4,139 reported in the country were recorded.
The Kasur-based study was conducted in six months involving extensive desk research of the prevailing system and legal framework, meetings with multi-stakeholders and five-weeks long field work.
The study recommended long and short term steps. These measures included setting up a ‘One stop Facilitation Centre’ in Kasur as a pilot project at the earliest in order to provide medical, psychiatric, psycho-social and legal support to the victims and their families.
It was also endorsed in the steering committee chaired by Wafaqi Mohtsib Syed Tahir Shahbaz that such centres would be run under the supervision of a committee comprising health department officials and federal and provincial commissioners.
International development partners and UNICEF would also be approached for financial assistance to run these centres while the report has also suggested such centres must be equipped with appropriate tools to conduct effective monitoring, reporting and oversight of child rights violation.
It also emphasised for developing database of DNA of the criminals, suspects and potential perpetrators at a district level on an urgent basis to ensure quick tracing of offenders and missing children, besides adopting zero tolerance against culprits.
Likewise, long term initiative proposed included enactment of new laws along with a few amendments in existing laws to ensure psycho-social, legal and medical support as well as prohibition of exonerating of accused with the consent of the aggrieved. The legal time-frame of such cases must be reduced to six months, it added.
The suggestions also included installation of more CCTV cameras in more prone cities and development of protocol with Facebook and Google authorities to control inflow and outflow of pornographic material is also suggested. It also recommended educational institutes to sensitise and train children and teachers, boy scouts and girl guides to spread awareness and beat this menace.
Police trainings are more critical to handle the victim, accused and media as per national and international laws, the report highlighted.
Talking to APP, Commissioner for Children and Advisor of Federal Ombudsman Syed Viqarun Nisa Hashmi said the report is now with the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi and consultation on child abuse issue with parliamentarians are scheduled in the coming days.
Syeda Viqar said they would provide full support and facilitate the concerned authorities for rooting out this menace from the country.
The commissioner regretted that about 92 percent of the reported accused were illiterate.