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Child abuse taboos 'coming down'

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    Child abuse taboos 'coming down'

    its about time too! Thank God for that. small but positive step to keep children safe.
    Child abuse taboos 'coming down'
    Paul Anderson
    BBC News, Islamabad

    Taboos surrounding violence against children are breaking down in south Asia, a senior Pakistani minister says.

    Zubaida Jalal, Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education, says help can now reach society's most vulnerable sections.

    Her remarks came at the end of a big regional conference in Islamabad on the mistreatment of millions of children at home and in the workplace.

    But detractors say the opposite is true and that abuses have even got worse.

    Culture of secrecy

    Social and religious practices and taboos prevalent across south Asia are often what distinguish the region from others when it comes to sexual and other forms of violence against children.

    Parents fear reported incidents will expose them and their families to ostracism and often brush harrowing stories of abuse under the carpet.

    But Ms Jalal, believes that culture of secrecy is drawing to a close as information and efforts to deal with incidents of violence against children open out.

    "Not acknowledging many times within homes, within communities, people would not even discuss, but maybe today this issue of it being a taboo has been over now, because if the government has started working towards achieving and correcting the wrong, we are moving towards finishing this off as a taboo," said Ms Jalal.

    There are many who say that is wishful thinking and that traditional mindsets which work against the interests of women and children have changed little in the past few years.

    Some say they have even hardened in Pakistan, under the influence of Islamic radicals.

    Wherever the truth lies, the conference the minister has been speaking at was a first for south Asia. It launched a range of initiatives examining the plight of children caught in violent abuse in their homes, in their schools, on the street and at work and in the state institutions many find themselves in. And, again for the first time, officials will begin measuring the scale of abuse - how many children are affected and how badly. No comprehensive studies have ever been carried out.
    - I swear to drunk I am not God :-/