Medical report of ‘abused’ maid handed over to authorities

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< ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Friday handed over the medical report of a 12-year-old employed as a maid who was allegedly physically assaulted at a house in E-11 to the district administration.

The report, available with Dawn, not only confirmed that the child was physically assaulted, but added that the victim informed the examiners she was regularly beaten and tortured by members of the household.

According to initial reports, the child, who is from Rahim Yar Khan, was abused by residents of the house who also cut her hair. A neighbour informed the police, who took the child into custody. She was taken to Pims for medical treatment on March 17.

After the matter was highlighted in the media, a medical board was established that included a surgeon, psychiatrist, burns expert, gynaecologist and two medico-legal officers who examined the victim on March 20.

According to the report, the case is with the Golra police and the victim was brought in by Assistant Superintendent of Police Arsala Saleem along with other police officials.

Pims’ report says child was repeatedly subjected to trauma on separate occasions
The child was also psychologically examined and found well-oriented. The report noted that her hair was cut irregularly to the length of 5 to 10cm, and she also had a healing wound, most likely a contact burn, on the back of the right side of her neck.

The report also said the examination revealed bite and scratch marks on the victim, a wound on the cheek, arm, legs and redness in her left eye. The report said the examination did not reveal any evidence of sexual abuse.

The report concluded that the child was subjected to trauma repeatedly on separate occasions, and said there were no bone or teeth injuries.

Pims Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram told Dawn the report has been handed over to the district administration, which may hand it over to the police for further action. Mr Akram added that such incidents would not stop happening unless legislation is passed to end domestic child labour in the country.

Additional deputy commissioner Abdul Sattar Isani confirmed that the medical report has been received. He said it will be handed over to the police and, based on the findings of the report, new sections will be incorporated into the FIR. “After that, further action can be taken,” he said.

The CEO of United Global Organisation of Development, an NGO, Syed Ishtiaq Gilani told Dawn legislation is required to address such issues.

“It is unfortunate that children, especially girls, have been working as house maids across the country and they face torture because they are not aware of their basic rights,” he said.

“However, there is hope because the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill 2015 has been passed by the National Assembly, and now efforts are being made to have it passed by the upper house. I believe 80pc of the problems will be addressed if the NCRC is established,” he said.

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