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Seven year old boy’s sexual assault puts spotlight on male rape in Pakistan

Sexual assaults of children is a near daily affair in Pakistan. The alarming rise in abduction of children have spurred demands for a task force on child abuse

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A young boy was raped in a village in Mangal village near Abbottabad in Pakistan.

The sexual assault happened as the seven-year-old was returning home from school, his uncle told the police in Abbottabad.

The boy was lured by a neighbour into his house and raped, police told Express Tribune.

Medical tests confirmed that the boy had been raped police said.

“We have registered a case against the accused under Section 377. However, we have not been able to arrest the accused,” police officer Naveed Khan was quoted as saying by Express Tribune.

The rape of the seven year old comes days after a 15-year-old boy was gangraped inside a bakery in Peshawar, the capital of the Pakistan’s north western Khyber Pakthunkhwa province.

The young victim claimed that a man had approached him Monday evening saying that he needed someone to help him with his work.

An advance of Rs 1,000 was paid and he was taken to the bakery.

The victim said there were several men waiting at the bakery, who took turns to rape him.

The police could nab only one of the accused when they raided the bakery.

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Another teenager was raped by two men in Kallar Syedan, some 40 kilometres from Rawalpindi.

The victim who was returning from a market is reported to have been abducted by two men on a motorcycle. The duo took him to a vacant plot and raped him.

He was found gagged and blind folded him by his parents who had then begun to look for him.

Pakistan has seen a sudden spurt in sexual abuse of children, especially male children. A survey by Express Tribune shows that 88 percent of respondents saying there were below 18 years, when they were abused.

Child rights activists say the large number of child workers are susceptible to all forms of sexual violence and drug abuse.

Pakistan ranks third in the ‘Global Slavery Index’. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had in 2012 estimated that 12.5 million children were working in Pakistan.

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A good number of these children could be sexually abused at some point of time.

Pakistan’s Hidden Shame,” a documentary directed by Mohammed Naqvi exposed the scale and graphic nature of the sexual abuse of children in the country.

3,508 cases were reported in 2014, a factsheet by non-governmental War on Rape (WAR) reveals. Of these, 2141 were girls while 1367 were boys.

Owing to the stigma or “male honour”, social workers say, many of the cases involving male children are not reported.

“Talking about sexual abuse is a taboo in our society; it is still acceptable for women to share their ordeal but for men, it is very difficult to discuss what they went through,” Nida Idrees, psychologist and director of WAR said.

Alarmed by the spike in abduction of children in the country, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had last week constituted a committee to look into it. The lawyers body has demanded the formation of a task force.

“Even if we ignore the cases in which children ran away from their house, the figures confirm that there were criminal gangs operating within Punjab as well as other provinces, who were kidnapping children for sexual abuse, begging, labour or trafficking,” SCBA president Syed Ali Zafar said in a statement.

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