As the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) notes “The mark of a civilized society is the way it treats – and protects – its children.” The discovery of the bodies of four children in Kasur, Punjab, in mid-September follows several high profile cases of child abuse and murder over the last few years including the 2015 child pornography ring that targeted 300 children and 2018 rape and murder of six-year old Zainab Ansari.
As the HRCP fact-finding report states “All three bodies were found lying next to each other in a deserted sandy area near the town. Faizan’s body was recovered by locals on the information of a sand seller; the police found the remaining victims. Informants claimed that the police had sent the remains of these victims for DNA reports. On 27 September, the media reported that the police had arrested 21 suspects, but had no conclusive evidence yet with which to make any charges.”
Further, “While the police explained the measures they had taken to some extent, almost all the victims’ families felt they had received very little or no support from the administration and law enforcement agencies and held little hope that the police investigation would reveal the culprit or culprits.”
The HRCP also issued the following recommendations:
“The FIR registration process must be made easier for complainants and police sensitized to dealing with complaints relating to missing children.
Security cameras should be installed in the town.
Schools, colleges, madrassas and mosques should be used as platforms to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and to suggest measures for protecting children.
The areas where these – and similar – incidents have occurred must be searched thoroughly for any other evidence and identified by the administration so that people avoid the area at present.”