The issue of missing children is least acknowledged in Pakistan owing to the lack of understanding and information about the issue. The convention on Rights of the Child (CRC) outlines the fundamental rights of children, including the right to be protected from economic exploitation and bonded labor, sexual abuse, and physical or mental torture as well as ensures that children will not be separated from their family against their will. Another major factor behind the missing of children is lack of awareness of parents as how to deal with children especially the disabled ones. Majority of children leave their homes because of financial constraints of the family, or physical, sexual and emotional violence at home or in schools/ Madrassas.
Every year, thousands of children go missing. Only in Karachi city, more than 3,000 children go missing every year. Police handles missing children’s case as a non-cognizable offence and most of the times refuses to lodge an FIR and just submit a kachi report (informal report), which has no value. The recovery ratio of missing children is less than 4%. During the last 6 months, 04 minor girls, aging between 5 to 12 years, were kidnapped from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi and after a few days their bodies were recovered. They were raped and tortured to physical exploitation. It is also our assessment that police officers are least educated about child rights, laws relating to child rights and modern techniques of handling such cases. Police awareness about the issue of missing and kidnapped children is seriously required. Different police officers handle the missing children’s case differently. They don’t have any standard operating procedures in this regard whereas they need to be trained on case and client handling.
There is a need to sensitize all the stakeholders on the issue; and police should deal the cases while conducting proper investigation. Human rights organizations must raise their voice against this barbarism. Children are the future assets and if we fail to provide them safety and security, we will surely suffer.
SDPI going to organize a seminar on the topic hare at Islamabad.The details are given Below:
SDPI-ROSHNI Joint Seminar
Missing Children: A Wakeup Call for Society?
· Dr Moeed Pirzada, Director World Affairs, PTV
· Mr Hussain Asghar, Director FIA, Former IG, Gilgit Baltistan
· Mr Abu Bakar Waqar, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Islamabad
· Mr Fazal Noor, Urban Specialist, UN Habitat Pakistan and Country Representative, Ashoka Foundation, USA
· Mr Mumammad Ali, President, Roshni Helpline
Note: A 10 minute documentary on the subject “Wu Ju Kho Gai” would also be screened on the occasion
Date: Thursday, 08 November 2012
Time: 03:00-05:00 p.m
Venue: SDPI Seminar Hall, 38, Embassy Road, G-6/3, Islamabad
You may also watch live streaming of the event athttp://www.sdpi.tv/live.php