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Pakistan has ranked third in terms of online child abuse, as sexual crimes against children have witnessed a rise in the Islamic Republic. Statistics suggest that the nation has ignored its children in the midst of numerous crises, which has increased sexual assaults on them. A report by Sahil, an NGO working to prevent sexual violence against children, revealed that evidently, every year, youngsters were falling victim to sexual abuse, JustEarth News reported.
Pakistan experienced a 33 per cent increase in rape and other abuse charges in 2022. 4253 children were victims of sexual and other forms of violence last year, according to Sahil. This equates to roughly 12 cases each day. The children facing online abuse remain in the same age group as those facing physical abuse, i.e., 9-13 yrs.
JustEarth News reported that girls make up the majority of children who experience sexual abuse. The majority of vulnerable youngsters, between the age group of 6 and 15, are victims of family members or other relatives. These abuses have led to a rise in mental health problems among the victims of abuse. As they mature, these kids continue to struggle with anxiety, despair, and a loss of self-respect.
With the growth of social media platforms and the dark web, where child pornography is freely sold, the horrors of child sexual assault have increased. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Pakistan, responsible for curtailing these crimes, has reportedly discovered over two million instances of child exploitation imagery that have been posted online. However, the number of cases stayed quite low over the past four years, at 403. Only 124 people have been detained and charged with crimes linked to child abuse since 2018, JustEarth News reported.
In its fact-finding report pertaining to the Kasur child pornographic scandal in 2015, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan noted that such horrifying cases continue to go unreported for two reasons: