Missing children cases rising in Karachi: Roshni Helpline Pakistan does not have official data on missing children


KARACHI: Roshni Helpline Program Officer, Ahmed Raza, said child rights violation cases are on the rise in Karachi. Missing children cases are also increasing day by day. There is no official data available on the cases of missing children in Pakistan.

This was informed by him while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Friday for swift recovery of missing children.

He said according to Roshni Helpline’s assessment, every year hundreds of children mysteriously disappear from Karachi city. The families of missing children face difficulties for the recovery of their dear ones.

He said: “The FIR of majority cases are lodged by police on the direction of honourable high court. The children are still missing and no clue has been found yet.”

Naveed Ahmed, Advocate High Court and head of legal aid committee, Roshni Helpline, showed serious concern over the issue of missing children. He briefed media about the recent petition filed for missing children in Sindh High Court in which he had identified the issue of reporting in police which reported missing children as non-cognizable offense and hence reported these cases as “Kachi Report”. He further said that according to law, it was very clear in Pakistan Penal Code that immediate FIR should be lodged about missing children cases.

Due to this dilemma in police reporting, five missing children’s bodies were found, including fiver-year-old Rehana, 12-year-old Fatima Ali, five-year-old Vaniya, 13-year-old Fauzia and 10-year-old Saqib from the jurisdiction of Mobina Town police station which were raped and later murdered during last couple of years.

“The delay in reporting missing children results in difficulty in tracing.” He said there was no system exists at Police level for reporting and tracing of missing children.

Missing children families also spoke to media. The mother of missing girl, Naaz, said her daughter went missing on 9 December 2013, but there was no clue to her whereabouts as yet as police was delaying the process of the case.

Latif-ur-Rehman, father of Uzair-ur-Rehman, said his child was abducted in front of his home. “There are strong evidence presented by my child who is still missing.”

Farhan Kumbhar, Case Handler Roshni Helpline, said that there were different criminal elements involved in the kidnapping of innocent children. He said there were groups of beggar mafia which actively abducted children for beggary purposes.

“There is need to monitor beggar mafia colonies and also register children present with their families. There are different issues associated with kidnapping of children, including false adoption, sexual exploitation, bounded labour, ransom etc. There are also established gangs which abduct children for ransom.”

He also shared the experience of working with missing children families as the families goes through severe mental stress He also asked media to play its due role for the advocacy of the issue and civil society should join hands in hands for the tracing and reunification of missing children.

Ahmed Raza, Program Officer, said that Pakistan was the signatory of United Nation’s convention on the rights of the child “UNCRC 1989” and after this convention ratification, it was state responsibility to make laws related to the rights and protection of children.

“Now it’s state obligation to work for the child protection, development, survival and participation under the light of UNCRC. After 18th amendment, Sindh Assembly passed bill on Child Protection in 2011 which became act later on in 2011 and known as Sindh Child Protection Act,” he said.

He said that it was clearly stated in the Act that Authority will be notified in 60 days after Act which will be responsible for its implementation. Unfortunately, no authority has been notified yet.

Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani, Minister Social Welfare has taken few appreciable steps for the notification of the authority but still it was Chief Minister’s end that has to notify it. He requested Chief Minister of Sindh to notify the authority as soon as possible, so that future of the province “Children” could saved.

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