When the Kasur child sexual abuse scandal ripped through the country’s very fabric, promises were made to protect the innocence of children against such heinous crimes. Yet a fourth grader was found impregnated by her schoolteacher in Larkana after he repeatedly raped her. Her parents suspected something was wrong when she complained of nausea and was taken to seek medical assistance. Even though the accused has been apprehended and has confessed to the despicable crime, will it return this young girl’s innocence? Will other parents ever feel secure enough, in midst of such news, to send their children to school if the perpetrators are none other than the ones responsible for their safety and well-being?

Just yesterday, penalties for human rights violations pertaining to children have been revised as Senate’s committee for human rights approved an amendment in the criminal law. According to the amendment, recording indecent pictures or videos of children will land the criminal in prison for two to seven years. Those found guilty of rape will be sentenced to life in prison. This amendment only came into being because the accused that taped the rape and torture of the Kasur children was not punished because there was no law that incriminated him.

Is our justice system so flawed that monsters like him walk free only to victimise other children?

Correcting the wrongs in the justice system is not the answer to put an end to sexual violence against children. It is the utter lack of interest in educating children in this regard; to shun taboo and talk about what has been done to them, however shameful. This young girl was victimised and she remained silent for months. The predicament lies right here and the government must go the whole nine yards to protect the innocent not just sign on bills that make no sense to those whose worlds are falling apart.