Tens of thousands of children of all ages are victims of violence and abuse across many societies and countries, whether it is Memphis or Peshawar. In Peshawar Pakistan, kids as young as 4 years are living on streets having beared the brunt of of violence and abuse stemming from decades of conflict and societal injustice. Many a times these children are poverty stricken and face negligence from their parents as well as the society due to which they take refuge on streets and have little or no contact with their immediate families. Living in streets exposes them to various forms of abuses from their peers or handlers that ultimately have a grave impact on their fragile hearts and minds.
Sexual abuse and exploitation is one of the biggest threats faced by the street children of Pakistan. If statistics are to be considered, around 90% of the 1.5 million street children of Pakistan are subjected to sex trade out of which only 20% cases get reported. The notable point here is that boys are as much vulnerable to sexual abuse as girls. Furthermore, there is an exponential increase in the cases of instances such as kidnapping and violence and a consistent decline in the number of cases getting reported. Poverty, parental negligence, lack of awareness, declining legal protection and poor living conditions also subject the innocent children into drug abuse and trafficking thus making the conditions all the more precarious.
Violence in their daily life is a risk that constantly keeps hovering over the lives of these innocent children and they continue to be marginalized and ignored as a social group which continues to push them away from the mainstream society.
Keeping in mind the proper development and their entry into the mainstream society, collective efforts of the government and the individuals need to be made. We, as a community, are trying to help these children to live a ‘normal’ life away from the brunt of all the ills that they face.