“If you want to bring an end to long-standing conflict, you have to be prepared to compromise.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

Threat of child abuse

Child abuse in Pakistan is rampant, the number of victims is increasingly reported throughout the country, be it Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan or KP. It is heartrending that one reads everyday about the horrific rapes in Pakistan. In recent weeks, a five-year-old girl Alisha was raped along with her mother in kashmore, an eight-year-old boy was raped in Kalat District of Balochistan and a four-year-old boy was raped and found dead in Karachi. It seems that our legislators are far from these incidents. No stern action is being taken against this grave exploitation of our children. We have laws with effective punishments but they are unable to stop violence. We have crime preventative institutions but those are paralysed. We have legislators but are unable to make strategy to cope with child abusers. Eventually, offenders are far from reach of police, court and prison. This reckless behaviour of ours works as an inspiration for like-minded. In accordance with claims made by Sahil, a non-governmental organisation, 2,846 child abuse cases were reported from all four provinces including Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in 2019. Toll of child abuses has been unexpectedly increasing since years. But yet, no proper strategy exists in the country to fight against rapists and child-abusers. Our children are strangled to death, sexually exploited and psychologically tortured. But we are unable to protect them from irrational monsters. Sahil shows diversity in child abuse cases: 778 abductions, 405 missing children, 348 sodomy cases, 279 rape cases, 210 attempted rapes, 205 gang sodomy cases and 115 gang rapes. Moreover, a total of 401 cases of child marriages were also recorded by Sahil in 2019. Data portrays that now more than eight children have been abused daily. It seems as if there exists no law to prevent such hazardous offenses. Therefore, we request legislators to make special laws for dealing with child abuse, institutions to implement existing laws with high hand and government to take initiatives so as to eliminate such offenses from the society.

Imtiaz Essa Halepoto,

Eliminating and preventing child labour

Child labour continues to be a concern in this day and age but because of the efforts of labour groups, governments, companies and ordinary people like you and me, the number of companies employing children is going down. What can be done to stop child labour completely? How can we, as civilisations, come together and solve this injustice being done to our young generation? There are many ways to help and every action that discourages this inhuman practice, no matter how small, will go a long way. Consumers nowadays have very powerful voices. Negative consumer feedback and bad publicity – companies avoid all this. Not one organisation wants to be accused of employing minors as this will affect their profitability when consumers boycott their products. As a consumer, you can make sure that the products you’re buying does not employ child labour. If you’re not sure how a product was produced, you can do some research. There are many websites that give information on which companies/brands are being accused of such practices. There are also sites where you can find a list of green products and ethical companies. You can boycott these products to support companies who are making a positive move to make our world a better place. If there’s no market for the products being made by children, there won’t be any point producing them. If you’re wondering how to stop child labour the answer is simple – stop buying their products! Always remember that the consumers are the driving force of global economies. You can help drive it in the right direction – away from child labour practices. As an individual, you can raise awareness, question the stores about who makes their product, demand labelling and support products that are not violating the rules of fair trade.

Muhammad Sami,