APP76-13 ISLAMABAD: December 13 - Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing a meeting regarding prevention of child abuse at PM Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said as the provision of safe environment to children was not only the responsibility of government but that of every individual of society also, the government would take all possible measures in that respect.

“The children are the future of a society. Crimes against the future of society and especially sexual abuse of innocent children are unfortunate and shameful for the whole society,” he said while presiding over a high-level meeting about the effective control of child-related crimes, particularly their sexual abuse.

The prime minister pointed out that in the era of modern technology, an enormous increase in the sexual crimes against children had been witnessed.

Most of the parents, owing to some social reasons or different compulsions, did hesitate from timely informing the police or registration of cases, which not only helped the criminals escape from the law but also destroyed the lives of affected children, he added.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Special Assistant on Accountability Shehzad Akbar, Secretary Interior Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, provincial inspectors general of police (IGPs) and senior officers of the Ministry of Interior and provincial home departments.

The prime minister was given a detailed briefing about the crimes against children with particular focus on sexual abuse, child-related sexual material, some recent unfortunate incidents and the administrative measures to check such crimes.

Additional Inspector General of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab, while giving details and facts about the Zainab case, Chunian case and Rawalpindi case, the percentage of crimes against children in Punjab and presenting the unfortunate incidents like those of Chunian and Qasur as a case study, briefed the meeting about the measures being taken at provincial level to check such incidents and crimes.

The meeting reviewed the legal, social, societal, economical and other aspects regarding the sexual abuse of children and deliberated in detail the measures taken so far at federal and provincial levels to curb such incidents and crimes.

The prime minister was told that a Special Monitoring Cell had been established to keep an eye on the crimes against children in the Punjab province, besides a thorough review of such heinous crimes and child missing incidents so as to ensure their control.

He was told that the system was being further streamlined for the early receipt of DNA reports as well.

The prime minister was informed that as per his direction, “Apna Bacha” [mobile] application had been developed so that the report of missing children could be instantly conveyed to all the IGPs and senior officials.

It was decided in the meeting that a National Crime Database regarding crimes, particularly those of the people involved in the crimes against children, would be tabulated at the national level in the Ministry of Interior, which would be available to all the federal and provincial law enforcing institutions.

The prime minister directed the Ministry of Human Rights to finalize, in consultation and coordination with the Ministry of Interior and provincial governments, a National Action Plan to check crimes against children within two weeks so that not only a national level crackdown against the child-related sexual material could be launched but also all the stakeholders, while reviewing all aspects of such crimes, could be assigned the relevant tasks and responsibilities with time-lines.

He directed to further strengthen the cyber-crime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) so that the complaints and cases regarding cyber crimes could be addressed as early as possible.

The prime minister directed to present recommendations for further strengthening the laws under the National Action Plan so as to ensure the provision of safe environment to children and the people involved in the crimes against children could be penalized.

He also directed to make recommendations for early completion of the cases related to crimes against children and saving the affected children and their families from any hurdles and humiliation.

Besides the measures for control and protection, special focus should also be given on the aspect of rehabilitation of children affected by such crimes, he added.

The prime minister urged the civil society and media to play their effective role for the protection of children, especially from sexual crimes so that not only children got aware about their rights but awareness could also be created at the levels of parents and society.

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