ASIA/PAKISTAN - Sexual abuse on minors: it is urgent to break the taboo and adopt preventive measures

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 children   violence   sexual abuse   justice   civil society  


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - There is an alarming increase in sexual abuse on minors in Pakistan: with this awareness the "Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation" (CICF), led by the Catholic Michelle Chaudhry, has launched a program of sensitization among parents and children. The first session of the program was held in Kasur, in Punjab, a city notorious for the spread of the phenomenon and for the recent case of Zainab, the seven-year-old girl raped and killed by a pedophile. "The growth and spread of sexual violence against children in Pakistan has caused a wave of deep concern across the country. This motivated us to organize this initiative", explains to Agenzia Fides Michelle Chaudhry.
During the meeting held in Kasur, hosted by the Paul Memorial Church, hundreds of people from all walks of life took part. As Rashida Quraishi of the "Child Advocacy Network Pakistan" said, "preventive measures must be taken to protect children and sexual abuse".
The lawyer, Miqdad Syed, highlighted the problem from a legal point of view, informing about the laws in force and the institutions that deal with the phenomenon and also about the help to the victims, reporting what steps should be taken if we learn of a case of sexual abuse on a child. Also Mr. Amin Ansari, Zainab’s father, the seven-year-old girl raped and killed in Kasur, participated in the program. "The horrible tragedy of Zainab not only shocked the entire nation but also acted as a catalyst for change in a society in which topics such as these were considered taboo. But now it is discussed at a public level, in civil society and in politics. We hope it will be the beginning of a change", notes Michelle Chaudhry.
The President of the Foundation continues: "Too many children are becoming victims of sexual abuse; it is an unacceptable situation and must be resolved urgently. A child must be allowed to grow up in a favorable and protected environment, free of violence and abuse".
"Through the CICF sexual sensitization program on sexual abuse we intend to reach parents and children, develop awareness and take preventive measures. Our Foundation is committed to creating a society without terrorism and violence, in which every child is safe and protected. The protection of minors is essential to ensure a strong and prosperous society", he stressed.
The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of injustice in society and the promotion of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in Pakistan. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2018