Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Shameful Truth

Finding religious excuses, most of the families refuse to give polio vaccination to children as they state it is non-Islamic but keep eyes closed to the plague which is much more treacherous and disgraceful to Pakistani society. Over populated families, no incentive taken by parents to send children to schools and poverty are the reasons where boys at very young age are sent to go for work by their parents.

Pakistan a democratic nuclear Muslim nation and the frontline state fighting against terrorism, but kept denying the fact of unexpected increase in sexual exploitation of several poor & weak children. For cheap education such poor children are either send to Madaris or to work as labor to bring bread and butter for the family.

In Madaris it is witnessed that children are sexually exploited by their teachers or elder mates. Older boys are being used for such purpose and first they gain trust and after they prepare those children for their Qazi / Teachers. Gifts, playing with toys & love give confidence to a child who has never got this from parents. In exchange for accomplishment of sexual desires, gets good food & cash in return.  Abid as a young boy used to go to Madrsa where he faced harassment by his Teacher / Qari, who threatened him of ruining his life. To avoid such behavior Abid stop going to Madrsa. A few days later, Abid was playing with his younger siblings at home, when Amin, accompanied by three men, broke into his house and threw acid over his body. 50% of the body is affected, lost eyesight & face completely disfigured for the rest of his life.

Whether its mega city, small city, town, village, tehsil it’s happening everywhere, especially on the tribal belts. Easy money making, expensive food & valuable gifts are the objects where such juveniles easily get tempted. Growing up in such atmosphere children get used to it and find their clients on their own.

‘Our main customers are the drivers and daily wage labour’ said a 12 yr old who was abducted by his elder brother’s friend and then escorted to Qazi / Teacher. He added that they have chosen their fate and no interest of getting help of any kind. An 8 yr old added that ‘We are earning good money, and now we also have touch screen mobile phones’. ‘Four people grab me and threw in their car and raped me, one was the driver I knew and 3 others were drug addicts, they left fainted’ says 11 yr old Naeem. These children travel from districts or cities for such exploitation and are well paid, the stay in big cities these boys earn almost 8 / 10 thousand a week.

On other aspect displaced people who have migrated by of any reason is also a huge factor of increase in child exploitation. Workers, traders & security guards and sometimes LEA’s who have been away from their married lives are main clients of such children. Bus stops, parks, under construction buildings are hideouts of such notorious activities.

More than 70% cases of child sexual exploitation happen in KPK or with the children who have migrated from KPK. Children aren’t in schools as of school standards and parents could not afford private schools due to high fee structure. 5000 plus children are on streets of Peshawar only with most of them nowhere to go.

This is the reality of our country, and we need to raise awareness about it.


Shariqa Ahmed
Twitter:  @Shariqa_Ahmed

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