Medical College Pakistan
Background: About two million children live on the streets in Pakistan. Their complicated past and dire living conditions make them susceptible to many psychological and physical problems, including sexual abuse.
Main body: With little research on the topic, the prevalence of sexual intercourse among street children is reported to be as high as 88% in Pakistan. With commercial sex a common practice among the street children, public places such as bus terminals and parks have become foci of prostitution and sexual exploitation. A growing concern is the spread of HIV/AIDS among the affected children due to a general lack of awareness about the disease and its prevention and high prevalence of unsafe sexual practices. The generally apathetic attitude of the society towards this issue and the affected children, combined with a lack of commitment and limited resource allocation by the government, has contributed in deteriorating the situation further.
Conclusions: A comprehensive multi-pronged strategy involving government, societal and international stakeholders is crucial to tackle the current crisis.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Sohail, A. H.,
Maan, M. A.,
(2021). Sex and the streets: The open secret of sexual abuse among Pakistan's two million street children. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 15(1), 65.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_mc/235
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