Almost 18,000 cases of child abuse reported in Pakistan since 2013

"Since 2013, 17,862 cases of child abuse have been reported in the country — 10,620 of which involved girls, while 7,242 involved boys."
Updated 14 February 2018
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Almost 18,000 cases of child abuse reported in Pakistan since 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights on Wednesday shared alarming figures regarding the prevalence of child abuse in the country.
In a written reply submitted to Pakistan’s National Assembly, the ministry said that, since 2013, 17,862 cases of child abuse have been reported in the country — 10,620 of which involved girls, while 7,242 involved boys.
The data was compiled by the NGO Sahil. The home departments of Pakistan’s provincial governments had been asked to help with data provision, but, the ministry said, “their response is still awaited.”
The ministry’s reply to lawmakers stated that 13,267 of those cases were registered, but the courts had convicted only 112 people.
Minister for Human Rights Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar told the house that the government has ratified various international conventions for the protection of children, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in 1990 and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Preventing, Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, in 2002.
Farshad Iqbal, manager of research and communication at the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), told Arab News: “There is a need to develop a mechanism at governmental level to gather data about child abuse cases. Only then can we effectively plan how to deal with the problem.”
Iqbal said that the numbers reported by the ministry are unlikely to reflect the true magnitude of the problem.
“We think it’s under-reported data,” he said. “But it is still an alarming figure.”


Brazil’s Bolsonaro pledges action to ‘restore democracy’ in Venezuela

Updated 46 sec ago
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Brazil’s Bolsonaro pledges action to ‘restore democracy’ in Venezuela

BRASILIA: Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he would do all he could to “to re-establish order and democracy” in Venezuela, while his foreign minister met with Venezuelan opposition leaders.
The right-wing government of Bolsonaro on Saturday said it recognized Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan opposition leader who is head of the congress, as the rightful president of Venezuela — even though Guaido himself has not proclaimed himself president.
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro began a new term last week under a cloud of international criticism by governments around the world, who have described him as an illegitimate leader whose policies have plunged Venezuela into its worst ever economic crisis.
“We will continue doing everything possible to re-establish order, democracy and freedom there,” Bolsonaro said in a video, in which he stood next to the head of the opposition-appointed Supreme Court in exile, Miguel Angel Martin.
“We asked the people of Venezuela to resist and have faith, because I believe a solution is coming soon,” Bolsonaro said in the video issued by his office.
Guaido, a lawmaker from the hard-line Popular Will opposition party, said last week he was prepared to assume the presidency on an interim basis and call elections, but would only do so with support of the armed forces.
Since taking office Jan. 1, Bolsonaro has stepped up criticism of Maduro’s government, the United States’ biggest ideological foe in Latin America.
Also at the meeting was a representative for Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States who has said Venezuela should be suspended from the regional forum.
Bolsonaro’s foreign minister Ernesto Araujo spent the morning huddled with a group of Venezuelan opposition leaders, led by the exiled former mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, to analyze the situation and Guaido’s readiness to take over as acting president, a Brazilian foreign ministry statement said.
Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The meeting also discussed ideas for “concrete action” to re-establish democracy in Venezuela, the statement said, without giving further details.
The opposition leaders said 300,000 people were starving and more than 11,000 newborn babies were dying each year due to the lack of medicine in what they called a “silent genocide perpetrated by the Maduro dictatorship,” the statement said.
Maduro, who says that a US-directed “economic war” is trying to force him from power, has so far had consistent support from the armed forces at home.