Boys in Pakistan are subjected to harmful social and gender norms Read The Story

Launch of the Global Boys Initiative: Boys In Pakistan Report

Posted on Mar 7, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: 7 March 2022

ECPAT’s latest report seeks to understand the harmful social and gender norms, that make boys in Pakistan vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“They are left to fend for themselves — even if they complain [that] they are in danger.”

PAKISTAN—As part of ECPAT’s Global Boys Initiative, the Pakistan Report is the fifth in a series of ten country reports to be released that deeply explore the sexual exploitation of boys – an issue too long ignored. This report was created in collaboration with PAHCHAAN. The Global Boys Initiative aims to improve global knowledge and inform efforts to protect boys and gender diverse children from being sexually exploited.  

Research, in the form of detailed surveys with frontline support workers, was conducted to find out what suggest solutions and paths forward in order to protect boys. The report highlighted a number of key findings:  

  • Gender norms contribute to the vulnerability of boys and stop people seeing them as victims of sexual exploitation. As a result, boys are led to ignore or minimise emotional pain, and refrain from help-seeking. 
  • Boys are more likely to be found engaged in child labor and street situations compared to girls. In these settings they are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, with Pakistani boy laborers recorded as subjected to sexual exploitation in factories, mines, and workshops. 
  • Abusers were often adults in the family or wider community. 
  • Discomfort discussing sex and sexuality are barriers to disclosing incidences of exploitation and abuse. This was especially relevant for boys working in exploitative or high-risk environments, such as those living or working on the street. 
  • Quality and accessibility of existing support services for boys in Pakistan was rated low by frontline support workers.  

Read the full report here.  

For more information, please contact: communications@ecpat.org 

 

About the Global Boys Initiative: 

At the 2016 Global Survivors Forum organised by ECPAT International, male survivor-advocates of sexual exploitation explained that services for boys were extremely rare, and even where services may include boys in their work, there is limited focus on addressing the specific characteristics, experiences and supports required by boys.

In 2019 to delve into this, ECPAT co-authored an academic paper that looked at the global situation of sexual exploitation of boys. It showed that despite a growing global awareness that boys do experience sexual exploitation, and at greater rates than previously recognised, there is limited research available to fully tell this story.  

As the programmatic responses to identify and meet the particular needs of boys are scarce, ECPAT International launched the Global Boys Initiative to explore the sexual exploitation of boys which activates our global network of member organisations in a range of research and response activities.  

Learn more about the Global Boys Initiative here.

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