United States Government Provides Specialized Training to Sindh Police on “Child Abductions and Forensic Interviewing”
The recent high profile abduction, murder, and sexual exploitation of minor females in Sindh and Punjab Provinces identified the urgent need for more robust training resources for Police Investigators in Karachi, Sindh Province, assigned to investigative Crimes against Children cases. This week-long training, in this regard, will further equip the Sindh Police with unique skill sets and provide additional resources that will increase the Sindh Police’s capacity to protect the children of Sindh, Pakistan.
According to statistics compiled by the NGO SAHIL in 2017, there were over 3,345 children reported as victims of sexual abuse in Pakistan. The report further indicated that 2,077 of the victims were girls and 1,368 were boys. Approximately 1,039 children were the victims of abductions; and 36 girls and 29 boys were brutally murdered and in some cases even tortured after they were sexually abused or exploited. A majority of the cases reported in Pakistan were from Punjab (2,186) and Sindh (933) Provinces.
As of August 2018, SAHIL reported 2,322 child abuse cases from January 2018 to June 2018. A review of the 2018 case statistics revealed that 542 children were abducted. During the same time period (January 2018 to June 2018) approximately 57 children were reported as being murdered after being abducted and sexually abused. Of the 2,322 cases reported, 56 percent of the child victims were girls and 44 percent were boys.
The horrific abduction and gruesome murder of Zainab Ansari, a seven year old from Kasur, Punjab in January 2018, galvanized Pakistan and the whole world through a social media movement that came to be known as “Justice for Zainab.” Crimes against Children are no longer just a statistic or number lost in the pages of a report, instead it has brought Crimes against Children from the shadows and into the social conscience of Pakistan.
Journalist Mazhar Abbas reported that Zainab wrote in her notebook, “I am a girl.” Zainab’s self-affirmation and her words resonate as a powerful voice for and from all the children of Pakistan and the world.