Age of innocence: Karachis street child sex workers

moazzamniaz

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Age of innocence: Police have a hand in abuse, say Karachis street child sex workers

By AFP
Published: August 26, 2011

239874-streetchild-1314345018-976-640x480.jpg

In this picture taken on July 22, 2011 a Pakistani street child and scavenger rests on a car in downtown Karachi. PHOTO: AFP

239874-PeoplePHOTOAFP-1314387233-448-160x120.jpg
239874-PeoplePHOTOAFP-1314387213-788-160x120.jpg
239874-streetchild-1314345018-976-160x120.jpg


KARACHI: Ali* knows first hand the misery of life on the streets. Sexually assaulted as a child, he became a pimp of young boys- the only way he knew how to survive as a member of the underclass.
He says he was 12 years old when he was attacked. Since then, he has been dragged into a vicious cycle of horrifying abuse allegedly aided and abetted by police and which few are willing to confront in the Muslim country.
It was just the third night I slept on a street when a policeman picked me up and did bad things to me. I cried a lot but no one came to help me, Ali, now 17, told AFP.
He was sexually assaulted for a second time by the leader of a street gang, who then forced Ali to join the 17 other children in his gang. By 14 he was a full-time sex worker. His pimp gave him a mobile phone to keep in contact with clients.
According to charities which work to protect street children in Pakistan, up to 90 per cent are sexually abused on the first night that they sleep rough and 60 per cent accuse police of sexually abusing them.
Children on the street are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, and sometimes killed, said Rana Asif Habib, head of the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF). Police (should) protect people. When policemen are themselves involved in molesting children, who will protect them? he asks.
What we have gathered in our research is that policemen make up more than 60 per cent of those who physically torment, sexually harass street children, said Anwer Kazmi of the Edhi Foundation, the countrys largest charity.
Karachi is home to Pakistans biggest community of street children- tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence and broken homes, drugs and crime, in the steamy port city. More than 170,000 street children live on the streets across the country. Illiterate, uneducated and most without family, the children can grow into seasoned criminals, drug addicts or fall prey to extremist militancy.
When Ali turned 16, he tried to escape. He received counselling from a charity and was taught photography. He tried to make it his profession. I was happy with my work, but a year ago, a policeman put me in the lockup on a false charge, confiscated my camera and abused me sexually, he said.
The experience turned him against the world. I decided to become stronger. Now I have my own gang and many influential people are my clients. No one can touch me now. Ali says he acts as a pimp to 10 teenage sex workers aged 14-18, taking a sizeable cut of whatever the boys in earn. Half an hour after finishing with one client I get another call and I forget all about wanting a respectable life.
Ali lives on a street in the downtown Saddar neighbourhood, but rents a room in a cheap hotel when he has surplus cash. He confesses that he too sexually assaulted a child. He insulted me and my family so I told him he had it coming. So I grabbed him and gave it to him. I still remember that night. I havent done that to anyone else since then and I dont want to.
Hanif* is a fishermans son. He insists he is 12, but he looks much younger. He left home three years ago because his family beat him and says he was abused by police. IHDF fears he too will be dragged into the sex industry.
The police tried to make me do bad things six or seven times but I managed to get away, he said. But one day, one policeman took me by force, put a cloth over my mouth and took me to a place where he did bad things.
Shaukat Hussain, head of police in Karachis southern district where many street children live, said any officers found guilty would be punished, but denied the force was anything like as culpable as reported. There are black sheep in our department who are involved in such acts. But we punish anyone whose crime comes to surface and is proved, he told AFP. The number of policemen who are involved in such acts is far less than what is being claimed by the media and NGOs, he added.
Pakistan offers little protection to vulnerable children. A draft bill for child protection has been pending with the interior ministry for two years, a senior official of the human rights ministry told AFP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
The bill is designed to tighten the laws protecting children, bringing them in line with international conventions, doing more to help children in difficulty and bringing police and other offenders to book for abusing minors.
There is a visible lack of interest on the part of the government on this issue despite our constant pursuits, said the ministry official. One former police official told AFP that he organised seminars to sensitise police on how to treat street children four years ago, but that the programme was abruptly abandoned when he retired.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27[SUP]th[/SUP], 2011.
 
Advertisement

moazzamniaz

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
I got it , u have nights...thats why on siasat this time.

Raaz bhai, shifts are divided in 36 hours straight( Four continuous shifts of 9 hours each: 7 hours indoor duty + 2 hours rest in resident dorm inside hospital ) and then 36 hours off. Therefore, there is no specific time. My sleep cycle is messed up. Sometimes i sleep for 16 hours, other times i cant sleep even after 36 hours duty. And now it is 36 hours off duty time and i m in my apartment. My only entertainment is siasat.pk:)(It is addiction). And Raaz bhai, thanx for ur kind concern. U r a gem indeed.
 

Raaz

(50k+ posts) بابائے فورم
Raaz bhai, shifts are divided in 36 hours straight( Four continuous shifts of 9 hours each: 7 hours indoor duty + 2 hours rest in resident dorm inside hospital ) and then 36 hours off. Therefore, there is no specific time. My sleep cycle is messed up. Sometimes i sleep for 16 hours, other times i cant sleep even after 36 hours duty. And now it is 36 hours off duty time and i m in my apartment. My only entertainment is siasat.pk:)(It is addiction). And Raaz bhai, thanx for ur kind concern. U r a gem indeed.

My prays are with u ...We need people like u.

Allah Deen ke sath zindah khe aur kush rho. Amen.

Dont wory about sleep cycle but thank god u dont have other cycles.
 

moazzamniaz

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
My prays are with u ...We need people like u.

Allah Deen ke sath zindah khe aur kush rho. Amen.
ثمہ آمین.شکریہ. بہت ہی جامع اور خوبصورت دعا دی ھے آپنے(یہ یاد رہے گی). اللہ پاک آپ کو بھی ہمیشہ خوش رکھیں. آمین

Dont wory about sleep cycle but thank god u dont have other cycles.

[hilar][hilar][hilar](clap)(clap)(clap)
 

mrcritic

Minister (2k+ posts)
Although the above story is possibly true, but I would always read EXPRESS TRIBUNE with a pinch of salt!!!!!!!
 

elipst

Minister (2k+ posts)
Raaz bhai, shifts are divided in 36 hours straight( Four continuous shifts of 9 hours each: 7 hours indoor duty + 2 hours rest in resident dorm inside hospital ) and then 36 hours off. Therefore, there is no specific time. My sleep cycle is messed up. Sometimes i sleep for 16 hours, other times i cant sleep even after 36 hours duty. And now it is 36 hours off duty time and i m in my apartment. My only entertainment is siasat.pk:)(It is addiction). And Raaz bhai, thanx for ur kind concern. U r a gem indeed.


LOL! Mine too. Thank God my hospital has internet.
 

qamar_zaman

Councller (250+ posts)
I always feel ashamed of myself as we are living in the same country what we got freedom to live according to Islamic principles we fought for over 100 years Quaid E Azam left congress on the basis of two nation theory we could not live with Hindus we have our own culture to live with but now everywhere such inhumane activities are going on and police is involved too not to stop such crimes but to give fire ignite such crimes I am always worried when I hear such things happening under the nose of government so what is the purpose of government
 
Sponsored Link