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In Pictures: Pakistan's street children
An estimated 1.5 million children living on streets are vulnerable to sexual abuse and drugs on daily basis.
Last updated: 20 Aug 2014 10:26
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The number of children found living, working and begging on Pakistan's streets has been growing despite efforts to provide basic education and aid.

An estimated 1.5 million children live on the streets of Pakistan, according to various numbers from government surveys and private organisations.

Rana Asif, who launched the NGO, Initiator, a decade ago to tackle this problem, said that inflation and refugee migration were the main contributing factors.

According to Initiator’s recent survey, 66 percent of street children are runaways who were forced to leave their homes after experiencing violence in household, workplace and educational institutions.

But the runaway children appear to be more vulnerable to abuse than before. The issue was highlighted in December 1999, when serial killer Javed Iqbal sent a letter to a newspaper confessing to the murders of 100 street children in the city of Lahore.

Iqbal committed suicide in prison before he was due to be hanged in front of the parents of the children he had murdered and sexually abused.

There are people such as Asif who want to help, but many others gain financially by keeping the children on the streets.

Asif told Al Jazeera that in cities such as Karachi, mafia exploit the street children by forcing them into begging and stealing.

"We provide some education, training and Eid gifts for these street children but as the mafia sees them stepping away from begging and stealing, the children are swiftly transported to other parts of the country. Some are even smuggled abroad, mostly to Iran," Asif said.

Follow Faras Ghani on Twitter: @farasG


/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera
There are two types of street children in Pakistan. Those who start and end their day on the streets while the latter live with their families but are sent to the streets to make money.


/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

About 25,000 children daily defy the weather and physical restraints and wander on Karachi's roads to sell tissue papers, clean windscreens or just knock on car windows begging.



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Street children are vulnerable to sexual abuse on a daily basis. More than 90 percent have been sexually assaulted and the biggest culprits are police officials, according to Asif.



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Only eight percent of children living on the streets in Pakistan are female. Most of them are picked up when they arrive on the streets and then sold off into prostitution for about Rs 25,000 each ($250).



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Apart from a huge number of Afghan migrants, about 45 percent of street children in Pakistan are Myanmarese and Bengalis, with those communities having 58 settlements in Karachi alone.



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Shrines, where these children visit regularly to fill up their stomachs, are the most popular places for the mafia to recruit them. These locations also act as hotspots for children to acquire cheap drugs and heroin, costing around 20 cents ($0.20).



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

The hustle-bustle of the city life enticed Ali to leave his village home. The video game shops, the sight of "better" food, the availability of cheap drugs and glue-sniffing, made him forget his "plain and stagnant" life at home.



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

There is no law against internal trafficking in Pakistan, Asif said, as children from the north often end up in Pakistan’s metropolises.



/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Despite the hardship, children working and earning a livelihood are content with life. "I’ve learnt how to work and I’m glad I don’t have to resort to begging on the streets or steal copper wire or side-view mirrors," said Asfand.




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images:
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captions:
There are two types of street children in Pakistan. Those who start and end their day on the streets while the latter live with their families but are sent to the streets to make money.;*;

About 25,000 children daily defy the weather and physical restraints and wander on Karachi(***)s roads to sell tissue papers, clean windscreens or just knock on car windows begging.

;*;

Street children are vulnerable to sexual abuse on a daily basis. More than 90 percent have been sexually assaulted and the biggest culprits are police officials, according to Asif.

;*;

Only eight percent of children living on the streets in Pakistan are female. Most of them are picked up when they arrive on the streets and then sold off into prostitution for about Rs 25,000 each ($250).

;*;

Apart from a huge number of Afghan migrants, about 45 percent of street children in Pakistan are Myanmarese and Bengalis, with those communities having 58 settlements in Karachi alone.

;*;

Shrines, where these children visit regularly to fill up their stomachs, are the most popular places for the mafia to recruit them. These locations also act as hotspots for children to acquire cheap drugs and heroin, costing around 20 cents ($0.20).

;*;

The hustle-bustle of the city life enticed Ali to leave his village home. The video game shops, the sight of "better" food, the availability of cheap drugs and glue-sniffing, made him forget his "plain and stagnant" life at home.

;*;

There is no law against internal trafficking in Pakistan, Asif said, as children from the north often end up in Pakistan’s metropolises.

;*;

Despite the hardship, children working and earning a livelihood are content with life. "I’ve learnt how to work and I’m glad I don’t have to resort to begging on the streets or steal copper wire or side-view mirrors," said Asfand.

Daylife ID:
d2cd6dec4bdcc68d8dd35a05c8598831
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera;*;Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
In Pictures: Pakistan's street childrenIn December 1999, Javed Iqbal sent a letter to a newspaper confessing to the murders of 100 mostly street children in Lahore. Iqbal committed suicide in prison before he was due to be hanged in front of the parents of the children he had murdered and sexually abused. But the episode brought to light the neglected yet growing concern that is street children in Pakistan, according to Rana Asif, who launched the NGO, Initiator, a decade ago. Against popular belief, street children are not orphans but are mostly run-aways, 66 percent, according to Initiator’s recent survey, their decision mostly forced by violence in various forms: domestic, workplace and educational institutions. Although private organisations have tried to provide basic education and aid, the numbers - given population increase, inflation and refugee migration - have kept increasing. A few lucky ones made it to the podium in Brazil’s Street Children World Cup, but between 1.2 million to 1.5 million are still spotted on the streets of Pakistan, according to a probability sampling done in 2008 by government survey and other organisations. There are those, like Asif, who want to help. But there are many more who gain financially by keeping these children on the streets in whatever form. “There are around 937 traffic signals in Karachi alone and the mafia is strongly opposing our efforts to curb the menace,” Asif told Al Jazeera. "We provide some education, training and Eid gifts for these street children but as the mafia sees them stepping away from begging and stealing, the children are swiftly transported to other parts of the country. Some are even smuggled abroad, mostly to Iran." http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_childrenen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:15:32 GMTPakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/5cdc36d6f2839ab30e5d54480caeec52There are two types of street children in Pakistan. Those who start and end their day on the streets while the latter live with their families but are sent to the streets to make money.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/5cdc36d6f2839ab30e5d54480caeec52Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenThere are two types of street children in Pakistan. Those who start and end their day on the streets while the latter live with their families but are sent to the streets to make money.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/0cdc421b0799f29a7c1ba0b3b541c9fcAround 25,000 daily defy the weather, the age and physical restraints and wander on Karachi’s roads to sell tissues, clean windscreens or just knock on car windows begging.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/0cdc421b0799f29a7c1ba0b3b541c9fcFaras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenAround 25,000 daily defy the weather, the age and physical restraints and wander on Karachi’s roads to sell tissues, clean windscreens or just knock on car windows begging.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/6481cd89c8716c4e544c12b2bd06d742Those children living on the street are more vulnerable. The biggest concern remains the sexual abuse they face. Over 90 percent have been sexually assaulted and the biggest culprits are police officials, according to Asif.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/6481cd89c8716c4e544c12b2bd06d742Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenThose children living on the street are more vulnerable. The biggest concern remains the sexual abuse they face. Over 90 percent have been sexually assaulted and the biggest culprits are police officials, according to Asif.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/2daf1cc205ab0255d2bb1925550cb0e8Only eight percent of children living on the streets in Pakistan are female. Most of them are picked up when they arrive on the streets and then sold off into prostitution for around Rs 25,000 each ($250).http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/2daf1cc205ab0255d2bb1925550cb0e8Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenOnly eight percent of children living on the streets in Pakistan are female. Most of them are picked up when they arrive on the streets and then sold off into prostitution for around Rs 25,000 each ($250).Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/69cd67e8a7dea5c0ca2cc73b8f354d07Apart from a huge number of Afghan migrants, around 45 percent of street children in Pakistan are Myanmarese and Bengalis, with those communities having 58 settlements in Karachi alone.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/69cd67e8a7dea5c0ca2cc73b8f354d07Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenApart from a huge number of Afghan migrants, around 45 percent of street children in Pakistan are Myanmarese and Bengalis, with those communities having 58 settlements in Karachi alone.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/6c7ed500b98721146cbed42b9419d492Shrines, where these children visit regularly to fill up their stomachs, are the most popular places for the mafia to recruit them. These locations also as hotspots for children to acquire cheap drugs and heroin, costing around $.20.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/6c7ed500b98721146cbed42b9419d492Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenShrines, where these children visit regularly to fill up their stomachs, are the most popular places for the mafia to recruit them. These locations also as hotspots for children to acquire cheap drugs and heroin, costing around $.20.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/30ac9b05c5d3cdf0008ac457ee201769The hustle-bustle of the city life enticed Ali to leave his village home. The video game shops, the sight of "better" food, the availability of cheap drugs and glue-sniffing, made him forget his "plain and stagnant" life at home, he said.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/30ac9b05c5d3cdf0008ac457ee201769Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenThe hustle-bustle of the city life enticed Ali to leave his village home. The video game shops, the sight of "better" food, the availability of cheap drugs and glue-sniffing, made him forget his "plain and stagnant" life at home, he said.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/ec8db05a5c1275aa7d4e848ceabc90d7There is no law against internal trafficking in Pakistan, Asif said, as children from the north often end up in Pakistan’s metropolises. These children have no identity either despite a United Nations convention ruling.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/ec8db05a5c1275aa7d4e848ceabc90d7Faras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenThere is no law against internal trafficking in Pakistan, Asif said, as children from the north often end up in Pakistan’s metropolises. These children have no identity either despite a United Nations convention ruling.Pakistan's street childrenhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/826186e0562c9350a9e2acefd633e36fDespite the hardship, children working and earning a livelihood are content with life. "I’ve learnt how to work and I’m glad I don’t have to resort to begging on the streets or steal copper wire or side-view mirrors," said Asfand.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/In_Pictures:_Pakistan's_street_children/slideshow/pakistans-street-children/826186e0562c9350a9e2acefd633e36fFaras Ghani/ Al JazeeraPakistan's street childrenDespite the hardship, children working and earning a livelihood are content with life. "I’ve learnt how to work and I’m glad I don’t have to resort to begging on the streets or steal copper wire or side-view mirrors," said Asfand.

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