`Girl child and the police` -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

`Girl child and the police`

With reference to the article `The girl child and the police` by Abdullah Khoso (Jan 10), I would like to add that the justice system in our country has little consideration for what innocent children can go through.

The case of the innocent 14-year-old girl who was subjected to such humilation by the police officials, who were supposed to protect her, incites sadness and repulsion that is simply beyond expression.

It is truly regrettable that even with laws that are in place to protect and underline the rights of every citizen, especially children and girl children, such as the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000, an act like this takes place and are eventually forgotten by the public.

Cases of rape and violence against women and children incite disgust but are then eventually forgotten. No matter how much the issue is debated by the public and the media, the problem is that our police department is not given proper training.

If there were monitoring mechanisms to check such violations, a transparency would decrease the prevalence of such heinous crimes.

In agreement with Mr. Khoso, there is a dire need to sensitise and train the police personnel with regard to human and child rights and to enforce guidelines for dealing with juveniles, especially female juveniles set out by the JJSO 2000.

MAHEEN SHAIQ
Islamabad

(II)

I was really glad to see the write-up by Abdullah Khoso (Jan 10) on the issue of the treatment of a girl child in contact or conflict with law. The writer has rightly highlighted the facts.

In Pakistan, the overall situation of the juvenile offenders is not satisfactory at all.

A large number of juvenile offenders are languishing in jails without trials.

They are kept with adult offenders and criminals where they are quite likely to become criminals themselves once they are released.

Their childhood is lost behind bars, without the love of family.

Police, the police station and the courts are usually areas that are shunned by a majority of citizens.

It is extremely horrifying if a young child, that too a girl, has to face them.

The writer seems to have missed out that the solution is only a part of the issue. I agree that some NGOs hold trainings workshops and seminars for police officials and other stake holders but their frequency and duration is not enough to sensitise them for the treatment of children under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000 (JJSO).

I believe that the JJSO and human rights, particularly child rights, with emphasis on the girl child should be a permanent part of the police training curricula.

At this moment we have approximately 2,50,000 (estimated) police officials in the country, and many police training institutes where the focus is on physical trainings.

If the said topics are a compulsory part of the training, it will be incorporated in the police officials` behaviour and will definitely improve the juvenile offenders` situation including girls.

I wonder why our statistics of juvenile offenders have little or no data about girls. The ground reality is that there are many helpless girls facing this trauma.

Very few of them are lucky to return to their homes with their honour safe.

Most of them bear wounds on their body, soul and femininity because they are the weaker sex.

These little girls who are being humiliated in jails by the police are not different from our daughters. They are our little girls who are to be loved and cared, and not humiliated.

SAADIA CHAUDHRY
Islamabad

Source: Dawn

Date:1/13/2011