October 20, 2020

EU CHRONICLE

News from the European Union

Perpetrator of international child abuse images freed

Children in Pakistan are vulnerable to many forms of violence and exploitation. Nearly 30 years after Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), no public coordinated child protection case management and referral system, as aligned with international standards, has been established. European Parliamentarian Gianna Gancia raised this serious issue to the European Commission in June 2020.

Saadat Amin was arrested in 2017 by the Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency’s cybercrime unit following a complaint from the Norwegian embassy. Amin was identified as an active member of an international network operating and transmitting child sex abuse images for financial gain.

Over 650 000 pictures and videos related to child sexual abuse were recovered from Amin’s possession.

On 26 April 2018, Saadat Amin was given a seven-year jail sentence, but in May 2020 the Lahore High Court released Amin on bail.

UNICEF states that “Children in Pakistan are vulnerable to many forms of violence and exploitation. Nearly 30 years after Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), no public coordinated child protection case management and referral system, as aligned with international standards, has been established”.

The prosecution of perpetrators of violence against women and girls in Pakistan is almost zero.

On 05 June 2020, Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Gianna Gancia of the Identity and Democracy Group filed a parliamentary question to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. MEP Gancia asked “does the Vice-President / High Representative agree that Pakistan is failing to effectively implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)?” . She continued, asking “what action has the Vice-President / High Representative taken with Pakistan regarding its violations of the CRC [Convention on the Rights of the Child] and its failure to protect children?” and “are violations against children considered in Pakistan’s GSP+ scorecard?”

On 21 September, High Representative/ Vice President Borrell formally responded on behalf of the European Commission referencing “the 2018-2019 Report on the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)” and adding that ”its assessment on Pakistan show that the country has taken some legislative measures towards improving the situation of women and children. For example, a recent long-awaited development is the establishment of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child.

High Representative/ Vice President Borrell clarified that “the report also states that the situation of women and children in Pakistan remains problematic, more effective action is needed and impunity for the perpetrators of crimes remains widespread”.

He further reported that “violence against women and children, girls in particular, was discussed in the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission’s Sub-Group on Human Rights on 14 November 2019” and that “the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore raised the issues of domestic violence and child early and forced marriage with Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari on 27 June 2020”.

High Representative/ Vice President Borrell underlined that in addition, “the EU Delegation to Pakistan has been involved in several awareness-raising activities on women’s rights and the rights of the child” and he further highlighted that “in June 2020, the European Commission sent Pakistan a list of the most salient issues in effectively implementing the 27 international conventions relevant to the GSP+”. He added that “this includes the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child” and “response from the Pakistani government is expected by September 2020”.

In closing, the High Representative/ Vice President declared that “these issues will also be followed upon by the next joint Commission/European External Action Service monitoring mission to Pakistan”.

Photo Credit : https://www.secureteen.com/child-abuse-prevention/what-parents-can-do-to-prevent-child-abuse/

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