Karachi: Crime against children has sharply increased during the last five years in Karachi, as the death toll of children which was 20 in 2005 reached 78 in the year 2010, states a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
The report, prepared by Taranum Khan of the organisation, states that during the last five years, around 412 children have died or been killed in various incidents in the metropolis.
The report declares 2009 as the deadliest year for children, when 134 children were killed in various incidents.
Last year, around 78 children died or were killed. The majority of the children, around 17, died while falling into drains, followed by seven children who were kidnapped, sexually abused and then killed.
In the year 2009, as many as 134 children were killed, of which 34 became victims of crossfire, and some 26 were burnt to death when a fire broke out in shanty huts in the city.
Around 61 children were killed in the year 2008. In that year, 14 children were killed in incidents of crossfire, while nine were killed by their parents or relatives.
In 2007, crime against children again increased and around 70 children were killed. Seventeen children were killed after being kidnapped for ransom. Two children were sexually abused before they were killed.
About 49 children died or were killed in the year 2006, aged from three months to 14 years. During that year, the bodies of 10 children were found, who had been killed by unknown people or by their relatives in various incidents.
The year 2005 proved to be the least fatal year for children. As many as 20 children, aged three years to 16 years — 12 boys and eight girls — were killed. The majority of children were killed after being kidnapped for ransom. Four children were murdered by their relatives, when the latter did not receive ransom.
A representative of the HRCP, while talking to The News, said that over the years, the trend of crime and violent incidents against children had changed. “We have observed that years ago, those who were involved in kidnapping, abuse or murder of children were strangers, but today the culprit is someone which the child is acquainted with. He either is a relative or a family member, or is someone who lives in the same neighbourhood of the victim.”
She said that in the past, children who were kidnapped or abused were not killed and were left alive, but now they were killed. “Last year, in the area of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, a girl who was abused was so brutally killed that her limbs were broken. Similarly, we saw another incident where a girl in Gizri area was killed and dumped in a ground after she was abused.”
Source: The News – 07.02.2011