22 March 2018

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01/13/2018 PAKISTAN

Justice and Peace on the rape and murder of little Zainab: urgent need of laws and policies for the protection of children

The Catholic body denounces the indolence of policemen, political leaders and government representatives for not cooperating with the victim's family. Pakistan is ranked as the 11th country with highest rate of child abuse/ sexual assault with 2500 cases each year and 3rd most dangerous country in the world for women. , in 2017 there has been 1764 cases of child abuse across Pakistan and 12 cases of rape and murder of minor girls all aged between 5 to 8 years in Kasur.

Lahore (AsiaNews) -The National (Catholic) Commission for Justice and Peace strongly condemns the rape and murder of a minor girl Zainab in Kasur that has resulted in anger and grief throughout the country.

Pakistan, once again has failed to protect its children. As per international reports Pakistan is ranked as the 11th country with highest rate of child abuse/ sexual assault with 2500 cases each year and 3rd most dangerous country in the world for women. As per reports 11 cases of child sexual abuse are registered each day. Kasur, adjoining city to the provincial capital of Punjab Province, has become the center of massive child sexual abuse since 2014 and 2015, estimating over 3500 cases of child molestation solely in 2014, of which 67% were reported in rural areas.

On August 8, 2015 Pakistan’s biggest child abuse scandal surfaced in Kasur, in which 25 criminals for 10 years were involved in extreme child abuse and child pornography. As per Child Protection, in 2017 there has been 1764 cases of child abuse across Pakistan and 12 cases of rape and murder of minor girls all aged between 5 to 8 years in Kasur.

Unfortunately, the recent tragic case of Zainab’s kidnapping, rape and murder is one of these 12 cases. Honourable Chief Minister, Honourable Law Minister and Honourable Chief Justice have taken notice of Zainab's case; as a result the police have questioned 272 suspects for this case and also came to conclusion of involvement of a probe serial killer. However the commission would like to plead the competent authorities to take under consideration all the other cases related to child abuse and bring perpetrators to exemplary justice.

His Excellency Archbishop Dr. Joseph Arshad, Chairperson NCJP, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf (Mani), National Director NCJP and Mr. Cecil S. Chaudhry Executive Director NCJP in a joint statement strongly condemned the horrific incident. While praying for the soul of the deceased, her family and other victims, Archbishop Arshad said that the whole nation weeps for this sin. It is a sin that shames us. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children, so that such crimes may never be repeated. The Commission strongly demanded that the government of Punjab take strict action against the perpetrators. The following demands are being presented to the Government for the protection of children;

  • On immediate basis Child Protection Bureau should be active at district level throughout Pakistan. Their role and responsibility function and quality needs to be redefined in light with the protection and promotion of the children.
  • The police should be sensitized over the issues related to protection of children. Cases of missing children and abduction of children should be given a priority by law enforcement agencies.
  • The local police officers, political leaders and other government officials should be discharged from their duty for not cooperating with the family of the victim and strict actions should be taken against them.
  • The government should form a judicial commission to develop legislations to address the issue of child abuse and child pornography as per article 10 of the constitution of Pakistan and under the criminal procedure court and in accordance with articles 34 and 35 of CRC. 

Children are the future of our nation; in order to protect them the government needs to ensure its social, moral and international commitments towards child rights/CRC (convention on the Rights of the Child). We hope that the government will seriously address the demands and work for the protection and security of the all children throughout Pakistan.  

(Shafique Khokhar contributed to this article)

See also

12/01/2018 19:22:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan mourns child raped, killed and thrown into a rubbish dump

Zainab was seven years old and lived near Lahore. The Government of Punjab is offering a reward of US$ 90,000 to anyone who can help police find the murderer. Yesterday two more children were killed in the province, triggering two parallel investigations. The entertainment industry and the sports world have denounced the "violated rights of minors".

15/01/2018 13:12:00 PAKISTAN
Lahore, Child protection policies more important than countering terrorism

Activists demand policies and laws for the protection of minors. Disdain and protests for the rape and murder of seven year old Zainab. In the first six months of 2017, 1764 cases of child abuse. Of these, about 62% occurred in Punjab. In Lahore, the first child protection unit in all of South Asia. Prohibit child marriage and corporal punishment in schools.

24/01/2018 09:32:00 PAKISTAN
Alleged murderer of little Zainab arrested

The suspect is 24 years old Imran Ali. For the investigators, he may be a neighbor. The police collect 1150 DNA samples. Comparative investigations are under way with the traces found on the small seven-year-old body.

11/01/2018 20:50:00 PAKISTAN
For Pakistani activists, a “rape culture” places no value in children

The country mourns Zainab, 7, from near Lahore. Her body, left in a rubbish dump, shows signs of torture. The "culture of rape" feeds on a cultural background defined by the division between men and women, misogyny, and abuses in madrassas.

25/01/2018 13:42:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistani activists want sex education in school to prevent child abuse

Yesterday, the 24-year-old suspect in the Zainab rape and murder case went before the anti-terrorism court. Islamic religious groups have rejected sex education. Justice must be “on a fast track”.

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