365 children abused in KP last year: police.

PESHAWAR -- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded around 365 cases of child sexual abuse last year with four victims of those offences being killed by culprits,said provincial additional inspector general of police Mohammad Ali Babakhel here on Thursday.

Addressing a daylong consultation on the 'Institutional Framework for Child Protection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa' here, Mr Babakhel also said the police arrested 329 people on the charge of sexually assaulting children.

He said the most challenging was the arrest of a man suspected of abusing three children in Peshawar before killing two of them.

'The police held the suspected rapist after carrying out investigation along scientific lines, especially through DNA sampling and examination of the footage of CCTV cameras,' he said.

Consultation calls for removal of loopholes from laws on child protection

The AIG also said 283 cases were registered against juvenile offenders last year and 16 of them were of murder and 11 of attempted murder.

The event wasorganised by the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC) in collaboration with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef).

Mr Babakhel said KP was the first province to have its own police law (Police Act, 2017), which also included provisions related to the duty of police towards the vulnerable segments of society, including women and children.

He said police formulated standard operating procedures for investigating child abuse cases and was implementing it.

The AIG complained that media was focusing on the reporting of sexual abuse cases but the issues of employing children as combatants, child soldiers and their radicalisation were not part of public discourse for media agenda setting.

NCRC chairperson Afshan Tehseen advocated the cause of child protection and said children had the right to education and a safe environment.

She said Pakistan was a signatory to the UN Child Rights Convention, so it was obligatory for it to set up an independent child rights commission, which was founded through legislation in 2017.

'There's a need for removing loopholes in the laws for children at federal and provincial levels,' she said.

Ms Tehseen said the NCRC had so far handled more than 260 complaints of child rights violations and provided 'direct relief' to the victims of those violations.

Director (labour) Irfan Khan said initial report of the first child labour survey in the province would be available by March this year.

He said...

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