Karachi: 7,000 children kidnapped in 2011: rights group
KARACHI: Around 7,000 children were kidnapped last year and of the total, a large number belonged to Karachi, a report published by the Human Rights Commission South Asia (HRCSA) highlighted, stating that kidnappings noticeably increased in 2011.
Research of a hundred police stations of Karachi by the HRCSA showed that around 3,090 parents filed FIRs for lost children last year. Further classification by the HRCSA showed that the number of missing boys is around 2,500, whereas the number of girls is around 600, with their ages ranging between 11 and 12. However, there are some cases with children even younger than that.
The report found that 34 percent of the children kidnapped were enrolled at a madrassa or a school. At the same time, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Orangi Town, Baldia Town and Lyari Town were some of the areas from where most incidents of kidnapping were reported.
The HRCSA reported that almost 270 mosques in Karachi announced a child missing from their vicinities. Speaking about the increasing number of children reported lost, John Ericson, chairman of the commission, says poverty, physical and emotional abuse are often the topmost cause for children running away from home.
The report goes on to highlight that the lack of investigation and awareness of the police has helped kidnappers a lot. “These children often have limbs amputated and are used for begging. In other instances, they are sold for a hefty amount of money to people from other countries. This has been going on for years without any investigations into why it takes place,” says Ericson.
He also compared the simultaneous rise in number of kidnappings and the number of children being sold for prostitution within the past few years. The chairman of the commission says there has also been an increase in the number of crimes such. These include children as young as three being sexually abused and then murdered.
Ericson adds that the main aim of the government should be to protect these children or help make law enforcing agencies strong and self reliant so that this heinous trend can be controlled and eventually eradicated.