When the kids are not safe … and how adults help in that- part 0ne

THE biggest crime against Humanity ( innocence thats forced out of them), I have always had my heart stopped when I read, or heard a story about a child being sexually abused, I felt as though my skin would start to tighten and have a large amount of anger … that made me so helpless and desperate because I don’t have the ability to do anything about it, around 2 years ago I was watching Opera with my mom  and she had Ricky Martin on the show my mom is a die heart fan of his and he mentioned what work he is doing with Thailand and also the work in India about saving children from prostitution and sexual abuse, and there is one case he mentioned which was a man paid around $100,000 to have sex with a six months old baby girl !!!! they younger they are the more money they get from them, but I also want to mention that there many kids who get abused by family members .. fathers .. brothers .. uncles .. cousins .. grandfathers .. family friends .. and so many more .. I wish that I can take all that pain away from all these innocent kids.. I read a couple of articles and have posted them … I will write more about the effects this has on them on the long run …

Almost half of Indian children suffer physical abuse: study
NEW DELHI, March 17: Almost half of Indian children surveyed for a landmark national study were physically, sexually or economically abused, according to leaked results.

One quarter of almost 17,000 children and young adults surveyed had been sexually abused, many by relatives, while 40 per cent had been beaten, many by persons in authority, the results showed.

The survey is part of the first comprehensive study of child abuse in India, a child welfare official said on Saturday, but would not comment on the findings, which are not yet public.

However, national news magazine Outlook, which has obtained a copy of the study, reported that “close to 50 per cent of the respondents spoken to have suffered some form of abuse”.

“Twenty-five per cent of the children have suffered sexual abuse. In more than 30 per cent of the cases, relatives of the child are involved,” the magazine said. The same findings were reported in the Hindustan Times daily.

Forty per cent of the children in the study, which the government plans to release at the end of March, had been beaten, the media reports said.

The beating figures were even worse for children in the capital New Delhi.

“Nearly 71 per cent have been physically beaten by persons in position of authority,” the Outlook report said.

“In more than 56 per cent of the cases (in New Delhi), the beating resulted in bleeding,” it said.

The study also said 60 per cent of those children surveyed had suffered economic abuse which included forced labour.

It was conducted in 13 states by Indian nongovernmental group Prayas and backed by the UN’s child welfare agency Unicef and Save the Children Fund.

Children, chosen at random, were questioned on the street, at jobs, in schools, in institutions and in their own homes.

The study would shed much-needed light on the nature and extent of child abuse in India which was under-reported to government authorities, the project’s leader said.—AFP


Why, in the name of God?
By Zulqernain Tahir

The church in the West and religious seminaries in Pakistan have been found time and again to have more than a fair share of child abusers in their ranks. In a developing country like ours, with few social institutions, many working for seminaries admit having the problem, but insist that it is rampant in society as a whole and not just a seminary-specific issue. Certainly not the whole truth, for the subject remains taboo. Consider, for instance, why are seminaries not linked to drug peddlers, murderers or thieves, who also are a wider social menace? Why just child abusers?
Some four years ago, the father of Atiq-ur-Rehman, 10, of Rahim Yar Khan, got him enrolled in a Lahore-based seminary. His dreams to make his son a hafiz-i-Quran were shattered when Atiq told him that his teacher had sodomised him and he did not want to continue his studies there. Now, the child is too scared to go to even another seminary.

Narrating his ordeal, Atiq said one Qari Rafiuddin, appointed at the seminary in Liaquatabad a few months ago, treated him harshly for not memorising his lessons. One day Rafiuddin called him in his hujra, a one-room residence built on the premises, in the evening and sodomised him –– a crime that was repeated several times later by the perpetrator.

Eventually the boy reported the incident to his father who got an FIR registered against the accused at the Liaquatabad Police Station under Section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The accused is on judicial remand these days.

This is one of the 20 other cases of sexual abuse registered with the Lahore police during the last three months. In another case, a seminary teacher has been indicted for his involvement in a similar crime. In the remaining 18 cases, the children were lured by the people of their locality and most of the victims did not inform their parents about the incidents until several days later. However, the change in the behaviour of the children concerned led their parents to suspect that some untoward incident had taken place and upon their insistence, the children opened up.

Recently, the police killed two men accused of sodomy in an ‘encounter’ in Sherakot, Lahore. In this particular case, nine-year-old Muhammad Tayyab, the son of a Qari who runs a seminary in the area, was the victim. Three people allegedly sodomised him and subsequently murdered him. The police managed to arrest the accused the day after the crime. There was so much resentment among the people of the area over the heart-rending incident that they supported the police action.

Hafiz Azeem, a former student of a seminary located in the walled city, says that in some cases older students abuse the younger ones. However, he dispelled the impression that seminary teachers are involved in such acts. “The government is very keen on registering seminaries but it pays no attention to improving the living conditions of the students, especially those residing there,” he complains.

In most seminaries in Punjab, he adds, students are kept like animals and are often not provided with sufficient food even.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, who also runs a seminary, admits that sexual abuse does exist in seminaries but the number of perpetrators is limited. He believes that the issue is not confined to seminaries alone as it is rampant in society as a whole.

“This is often attributed to seminaries in order to defame Islam,” Maulana Farooqi claims, adding that those who are suspected of involvement in the heinous crime are expelled from seminaries and they do not get admission in any other seminary under the rules of the Wafaqul Madaris. “In order to curb this menace a qari monitors the rooms or a hall where 10 to 20 students live,” he adds.

Maulana Farooqi says he is for meting out strict punishment to an abuser. “Islam has fixed stricter punishment for committing sodomy than that for fornication. However, under the Pakistan Penal Code, the accused of sodomy faces an imprisonment for only 14 years.”

Advocate in the Supreme Court, Manzoor Malik, says that Section 377 deals with carnal intercourse that is considered unnatural and an accused faces 14 years’ imprisonment for it upon conviction.

“Though a medico-legal report is important in a case when a victim reports the incident several days after sodomy has been committed, it is difficult to establish it. However, a witness from the side of the victim is enough to get the accused penalised,” Malik disclosed.

As Maulana Farooqi says, the menace is extensive in society, and the Child Protection Welfare Bureau figures appear to support his viewpoint. The bureau has rescued more than 4,400 such children since its inception in 2005.

According to the bureau official, Nabil Malik, a few lucky ones are not abused —- a revelation that must be noted by our policymakers for coming up with steps to deal with the menace.

“The government should at least provide shelter after rescuing all destitute boys and girls from the roads because there they are an easy prey for perpetrators.”

A bureau study says that a good number of the children caught while seeking alms at various Lahore intersections are members of beggar families and not a mafia.

“The statistics show that poverty compels people to make their children beg,” says a bureau official. These children have been handed over to their parents or guardians on the assurance that they will not force them again into begging. “Ironically their parents or guardians know that by doing so they are exposing their children to sexual abuse as well. Perhaps they have no other alternative,” he observes.

The official notes that these families often do not quit the habit of begging and move to other parts of the country as this is an easy way for them to keep begging. On the other hand, runaway children are said to be easy prey for those exploiting children for prostitution, beggary and forced labour.

According to the Society of Protection of the Rights of the Child, at least 10,000 children living in a metropolis have left their houses for various reasons. The notorious serial killer Javed Iqbal, of Lahore, is said to have sodomised and killed over 100 children after luring them to his flat from places like Data Darbar, the Badami Bagh bus stand and other areas where runaway children usually take refuge.

Under the Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act, 2004, the government is bound to rescue and provide shelter to destitute children. The government may establish one or more courts for a given area and appoint a presiding officer in consultation with the Lahore High Court. Until a court is established in an area, the LHC may confer powers upon a district and session’s judge or an additional district and sessions judge to carry out legal proceedings on its behalf.

The law provides that the court shall decide a case within one month from the date of production of a child. It may also order the admission of a destitute child to a child a protection institution or the child’s custody be entrusted to a suitable person until he attains the age of 18.

Fines and imprisonments have been introduced by the court for keeping unauthorised custody of children, their employment for begging, giving them intoxicants and drugs, permitting them to enter places where drugs are sold, inciting them to bet or borrow and exposing them to seduction.

The Child Protection Bureau has handed over about 4,100 children of the total rescued ones to their guardians so far. However, a lot more needs to be done on this front because the problem is prevailing in other parts of the country as well.

Some studies hint that in Pakistan one out of every three girls and one out of every four boys is abused. Psychologists say parents must teach children to distinguish between a harmless embrace and sexual advances. It is a myth that children are abused only by strangers or that an attractive child could be a victim. Children should be taught which parts of the body are private, and that they have the right not to allow anyone to touch them.

Parents must also watch out for infections, itching, bleeding, urinary tract infections, bruises and cuts in the genital area of the child or for delinquent behaviour on the part of the child. Most parents shy from discussing sex and reproductive health with their children. They either do not have enough information about the subject or think it inappropriate. When parents do not tell their children about hormonal changes, they will try to get such information from friends, which is either deficient or deceptive.

Under international legislation, the rights of the child must be protected from economic and sexual exploitation. The laws also protect them from performing work that is hazardous or interferes with the child’s education or is harmful for his or her physical, mental, moral and social wellbeing.

A victim’s tale

Twelve-year-old Abdul Wahab has been through the agony of sexual abuse for four years. He was eight when a group of four boys in his locality near the Lahore railway station made him a glue-sniffing addict and then started abusing him. Though he was rescued by the Child Protection Welfare Bureau from Data Darbar over a year ago and subsequently rehabilitated, he started it again. The abuse continued till June last, when a bureau team member took him into custody from Ali Park in Hira Mandi, which serves as a rendezvous for addicts, including children.

Wahab, whose father works in a workshop, blames other boys of his area for making him an addict. “They lured me to addiction because they wanted to abuse me,” he believes. He has six siblings but his parents do not care much for any of them.

“My elder brother and I used to seek alms at intersections, considering it an easy way to make some buck. My brother, however, does not sniff glue, smoke hashish or opium, the intoxicants I had developed a taste for,” he confesses.

Wahab is so malnourished that he does not look more than eight years of age. He seems to be a rather precocious child.

“When the Bureau first handed me over to my father, he gave me a sound thrashing. My father’s hostile attitude forced me to quit home again and join the company of the same boys,” he discloses. “During the day we would beg and in the evening we would smoke up whatever we could lay our hands on. The older boys told me how to save money by taking free breakfast and lunch from Baba Chhatriwala on Ravi Road, and the evening meal at Data Darbar.”

The Bureau officials are trying to instil the desire for learning art in Wahab so as to enable him to earn a respectable living and to wean him away from begging. The officials say that they are also doing their best to make him learn a technical skill. — Z.T.

Getting away with it

A considerable number of cases pertaining to sodomy generally go unreported for various reasons and, more importantly, owing to the socio-cultural concerns. Children belonging to the lower income groups have been found more vulnerable to this crime. Street children are extremely susceptible to sexual molestation; however, their cases are seldom reported as they have no legal guardian to take them to the police or for medical examination.

The police often ignore the cases where street children have been subjected to brutality. They don’t take the initiative in registering the case on behalf of the state. Generally, it is seen that the accused in these cases, in some way or the other, don’t get the appropriate punishment as stipulated by the law. By and large, the investigations carried out by the police in such cases are so flawed that it becomes easy for the accused to get away with it. Medical examination in sodomy cases is very important based on which a case can be built. However, due to lack of knowledge, the victim reaches the hospital two or three days after the crime. By that time, vital evidence is lost and mere physical marks of injuries are registered in the medico-legal reports.

Recently a case was reported where the act of sodomy was established in the medical report and circumstantial evidence also pointed a finger at the accused. But the accused got away even after the cancellation of his bail application by the court. It is clear that this could not have taken place without the connivance of the police at some level.

Seminary teachers are, off and on, caught or have been accused of molesting their students. Intimidation rules supreme in such situations where the teacher is guilty of this crime. Sometimes the child is repeatedly abused until he breaks down and discloses it to his guardian or parents.

In 2003, a young boy was subjected to sodomy by four policemen near Colony Gate, Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi. Following the incident, the boy committed self-immolation in his house the same night when he locked himself up in the washroom, and died shortly after being taken to hospital. The four policemen accused in the case, though initially caught, were released after a few months mainly due to the flawed investigation carried out by an inquiry officer of the Shah Faisal Colony police station. Generally, far fewer cases of sodomy are reported than those of rape. The annual figures collected at the Civil Hospital show that in 2006, 40 cases of sodomy were reported at the hospital while 141 rape cases were reported during the same period. —S Raza Hassan

Child abuse and the church

The menace of child abuse is a real threat in the UK. Ask any parent of young children here and you would be shocked to know how much they dread the possibility of their children being abused when out of their homes and beyond parental watch. Schools and churches are no exceptions.

Since the evil was exposed by the victims of wayward priests several decades ago, efforts are being made to tackle it both at the level of the church and introduce stricter vigilance by the law enforcing agencies. That the menace continues to linger despite all these efforts is said to have brought to the fore the limitations of administrative and legal measures in suppressing a social evil.

Also the game of cover up is said to be rampant because the churches do not want transgressions of a few of their members to be the cause of loss of faith of the masses in the institution. Secondly, they feel that by suppressing the misdeeds of a minority they are actually saving the majority of the priests from being looked as suspect. And thirdly, public exposure has become too costly for the churches as many in the US have gone bankrupt by paying compensation to the victims.

In April this year Peter Halliday, the choirmaster was jailed for two-and-a-half years for abusing three boys at St. Peter’s church in Farnborough between 1985 and 1990. In 1990, he admitted to the church he had abused one boy. He was forced to leave the job but police were not told. And again in the same month David Smith, the vicar of St. John the Evangelist church in Clevedon, Somerset, was jailed for five-and-a-half years on 12 counts of indecently assaulting boys for 30 years. The Church of England officials were reportedly twice alerted but no action was taken.These two cases are said to have highlighted inadequacies of churches’ so-called code of conduct guidelines.

Earlier, in November 2004, Peter Cranch, the Church of England priest, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a choirboy at All Saints’ Church in Exmouth. In 1999 he received a two-year suspended sentence for abusing boys in the 1970s. In July 2003, Robin Everett the vicar was jailed for five years on seven counts of assault against two girls in the early 1980s. Some of the abuse took place in the vestry of his church in Castle Donington, Leicestershire.

In 2000, Anthony Clayton was convicted of performing a sex act on a boy at his Derbyshire vicarage and jailed for six months. In 1985 Terence Knight was jailed for three-and-a-half years for abusing seven boys when he was a priest in Portsmouth between 1975 and 1985. There were complaints in 1985 but nothing happened for 10 years until one victim went to the police.

Recently Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has promised that independent reviews would be set up in every diocese to investigate outstanding allegations of child abuse against clergy and other church workers.

The Rt Rev Nigel McClloch, Bishop of Manchester, has already asked an independent lawyer to review 850 files on complaints against clergy in his diocese alone. The church is reviewing its codes of conduct guidelines for the third time since they were introduced in 1995.

The full extent of child abuse scandals threatening the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has emerged in a recent study by the archdiocese of Dublin which reveals that more than 100 of its priests have faced paedophile accusations since 1940.

The report constitutes the most serious admission by a senior cleric in the republic. More than 350 children are said to have been sexually or physically abused in that period.

However, there is another side to the story as well. Figures released in June by the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults revealed that in 2006 police in England and Wales investigated 41 allegations of abuse in the church, which resulted in one conviction. Twenty-four allegations immediately resulted in no further action, suggesting that the majority of the allegations were unfounded.

Meanwhile, an independent commission has urged the Catholic bishops of England and Wales to bring their child-protection measures in line with the Code of Canon Law amid fears that false allegations are driving priests away from working with young people.

The report published on July 16 and called Safeguarding with confidence, says that many priests believe the system brought in five years ago after several high-profile clerical abuse cases is loaded unjustly against them.

In 2003, a British newspaper published a report alleging that the Vatican had instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the church. The 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive on which the report is based has been called by lawyers a “blueprint for deception and concealment”.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threaten those who speak out with excommunication.

Recently a radio programme once again put the searchlight on the evil of child abuse and on the cover up efforts when the reporter, who was himself raped by a catholic priest when he was 14, revealed what he described as the latest evidence that the Catholic Church is prepared to cover up episodes of child abuse. — M. Ziauddin


3 children sexually abused daily in 2004: report
By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 5: On average three children were sexually abused daily during the year 2004, a report launched by an NGO said. The report titled “Cruel Numbers” presents statistics based on cases reported in 27 newspapers last year.

It said as many as 1,549 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in national dailies. However, the report said, a total of 1,567 cases of child sexual abuse occurred in 2004. Out of the total, 373 (24 per cent) were boys and 1,194 (76 per cent) were girls. This shows that females are more vulnerable, they are seen as sex objects and also considered means of settling outstanding scores with rivals, it added.

The report underlined that this figure did not represent the total number of such incidents in the country because such issues were considered taboo and not easily reported. Resultantly, any attempt to quantify the issue of child sexual abuse is bound to be limited in scope.

According to the report, child sexual abuse occurs when an adult or adolescent uses a child for sexual purposes. It involves exposing a child to any sexual activity or behaviour. It is betrayal of trust and an abuse of power over children.

Given the shame and silence that surrounds child sexual abuse in the country, newspapers are one of the few tools that can be used to establish prevalence and occurrence of child sexual abuse.

Mainly five forms of sexual abuse crimes were identified to record information. These include abduction for sexual purposes, molestation, rape/sodomy, gang rape/sodomy and murder after sexual assault.

Of the reported cases, there were 661 cases of abduction, 177 of molestation, eight of molestation murder, 364 of rape/sodomy, 58 of rape/sodomy murder, 264 of gang rape/sodomy and 35 of gang rape/sodomy murder.

The report also underlined that cases of voyeurism, child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation were not reported and kept hidden.

About the age of victims, the report said that it was divided into four categories, i.e five years and below, six to 10 years, 11 to 15 years, and 16 to 18 years.

There are numerous myths prevalent in the society regarding child abusers. One popular myth is that mostly strangers abuse children. In the year 2004, there were a total of 2,876 abusers who sexually assaulted 1,567 children.

The report noted that acquaintances were the major perpetrators of the crime.

Child abuse and NGOs
By Omar R. Quraishi

Sexual abuse of children is very common and widespread in our country. Given the sanctimonious bent of our society, such issues are often brushed under the carpet and everyone seems to think that they do not exist, writes Omar R. Quraishi
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seem to be in the news of late, though mostly for all the wrong reasons. Foremost are the denunciatory remarks made by some top level government leaders.

First, it was two members of the federal cabinet, followed by President Pervez Musharraf himself, who cast aspersions on the work NGOs do in Pakistan, on their sources of funding and on their agendas and objectives.

There is some truth, though, in the fact that some NGOs are in the social service sector mainly to get funding from foreign donors and that their agendas are mostly (foreign) donor-driven.

However, there are also many NGOs, especially some notable think-tanks, which rely almost exclusively on the Pakistan government for funding. And when one compares the NGOs in Pakistan with their counterparts in the South Asian region, there is some cause for disappointment.

India has a thriving and vibrant NGO sector which consists of organizations with indigenous sources of funding, with strong ties with the communities and regions that they seek, to serve and a proven track record of tangible results.

Even countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are better placed than Pakistan in this regard. However, this is not to say that all NGOs here are bad, and, in fact, as bad as the religious groups and institutions which, too, receive generous foreign funding, but that is the gist of what remarks by senior government functionaries seem to suggest.

There are some organizations in Pakistan that have done some excellent work in supplementing or even outpacing the efforts of the government to provide basic services like affordable education, health care, non-formal education, clean drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management, or environmental protection solutions to those who need it most.

Some like the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have served well as human rights watchdogs, keeping a check on the abuse of peoples’ rights or the persecution of them. Islamabad-based Network has done some good work on consumer rights. The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) has tried to raise awareness on children’s rights and lobby for a separate law for juvenile offenders.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has helped evolve a national conservation strategy for the government, while the Islamabad-based Progressive Women’s Association, the Pakistan Women’s Lawyer’s Association, the Aurat Foundation, Shirkatgah, AGHS, ASR and several others have fought for the rights of oppressed members of Pakistani society, especially women and the minorities.

One in particular, Islamabad-based Rozan, has been doing some very commendable work on the issue of physical and sexual abuse of children in the country, an issue that many Pakistanis probably would like to think does not exist in our society.

According to Rozan’s website, the organization works on “issues of emotional health, gender and violence against women and children” and that its teams consist of “psychologists, psychiatrists, community workers, management experts, researchers, teachers and doctors”.

Particularly commendable is the NGO’s programme called ‘Aangan’ which seeks to work on the emotional health of children and on the issue of sexual abuse of children. It also organizes gender sensitization workshops and has been working on a programme to bring about what it says is “attitudinal change” in the police, especially in their dealing with women and children.

It is also perhaps one of the few NGOs to have a helpline where young people can write a letter, call in or e-mail problems that they might be facing and where they are provided professional counselling and therapy.

It is good to see someone doing some work on the much-neglected field of sexual abuse of children. Given the sanctimonious bent of our society, such issues are often brushed under the carpet and everyone seems to think that they do not exist. But ask someone who has suffered such abuse as a child or adolescent and one will realize that the effects and emotional scars of such reprehensible acts are very real and are more common in our society than most of us would like to believe.

To that effect, this NGO decided to conduct a survey of children which was based on a questionnaire that asked respondents whether they had ever been sexually abused, harassed or if they had sexual relations with members of the opposite sex.

The result was that the ministry of social welfare and special education blacklisted the NGO, asking it to immediately disband the project. The reason being that the questionnaire contained material which the ministry thought was ‘objectionable’. The only conclusion that one can draw from it is that the ministry thinks that Pakistani society has no paedophiles and that children, of any age, are never vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse or harassment –– this despite reports over the years of exactly such cases happening, the most prominent being a scandal that rocked a government boys secondary school in Peshawar and even forced the NWFP assembly to sit up and take notice.

Does the minister of social welfare and special education, Zubaida Jalal, who is said to be an enlightened individual, think that the distribution of such a questionnaire and the holding of a survey, whose aim is to gauge the emotional health and prevalence of sexual and physical abuse among young children, is wrong and needs to be abandoned?

Consider the facts on this account. The first properly documented survey on this problem, conducted by the United Nations in early 1999 in the NWFP, found that one-third of those surveyed believed that abuse of children was “not even a bad thing, let alone a crime”.

The report said that in the major cities, especially in inter-city bus-stands and in seedy hotels close to railway stations, hotel-owners hired young boys to attract customers, and that all kinds of services were then provided to them. The report quoted a clinical psychologist as saying that though largely ignored and under-reported, sexual abuse of children was widespread.

The then federal secretary of the ministry for women’s development and social welfare, Muzaffar Qureshi, was also interviewed and he said that the ministry had realized that this was a “serious problem” for which several studies had been conducted to gauge the extent of the problem and suggest remedies.

That was over six years ago and not much has changed since then. Sexual abuse happens and is increasing but the government and society in general choose to look the other way, pretending perhaps that such things could possibly not happen in an Islamic country.

However, even going by newspaper reports, one can say that the menace of sexual abuse of children is on the rise. Other than the highly publicized sexual abuse scandal –– which lasted for several years –– at the government boys school in Peshawar, a survey of newspaper reports in the past four years by the Karachi-based Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid and Madadgar suggests that reported crimes against children have almost tripled, from 1,612 in 2000 to 4,530 in 2004.

Given this, the ministry of social welfare would be hard pressed to explain exactly why it has directed this particular NGO to disband its project and stop circulating the said questionnaire. How can a problem be dealt with if the basic premise is to pretend that it doesn’t exist?

There might be some people, such as in the Mukhtaran Mai episode, who think that looking away from this problem and pretending no such thing happened. But what about the hundred and perhaps thousands of children who are physically and sexually abused every year?

When will officialdom in Pakistan ever stop its ostrich-like behaviour pretending that everything is hunky-dory with a GDP growth rate of 8.4 per cent?

Even good economists know that GDP per capita is but one measure of social well-being and that the quality of life is an equally important measure of people’s welfare. Efforts like that of this particular NGO to improve the social and emotional health of children, however small, should be encouraged by the government than otherwise.

It would be foolish on the part of the social welfare ministry to think that children in Pakistan are any better or worse than their counterparts in other developing countries. Streetchildren in Karachi are as vulnerable as streetchildren in, say, Mumbai or Rio de Janiero, but in our unfortunate case not only is the government unwilling to do anything about it, it doesn’t even allow private sector organizations and concerned sections of civil society to do anything to address the problem. That indeed is a shame.


~ by maliha11 on September 10, 2007.

2 Responses to “When the kids are not safe … and how adults help in that- part 0ne”

  1. Such a god damn in-depth article? besides it would have been better had u summarized it, although u did mention the source but i don’t think the blogosphere will like this… i had the same issue in past~

  2. heh yeah exactly… this cut..copy .. paste is always been an issue… although if one is mentionin the source …no body should argue over tht… any how… this is how its been going on every where… But i do have some arguments over criticism you did on seminaries… I do beleive the reports would be correct… but yes blaiming all of them… wont be a good idea!

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