KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) recently submitted a 10-year report containing data on orphans and orphanages across the province before the Sindh High Court (SHC).
According to Geo News, the agency was directed to prepare the report so that orphans’ rights could be ensured and the state could ascertain that laws pertaining to orphanages in the province are being properly implemented.
A few months ago, a single bench of the SHC — headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar — during a hearing had taken notice of reports with regard to non-maintenance of the marriage record of girls at orphanages.
The judge had directed the FIA Human Trafficking Cell director-general to look into all the orphanages with regard to the marriages of orphans and record statements of orphan girls regarding whether their consent was taken before their marriages in order to rule out the possibility of human trafficking.
Per the report that the FIA submitted to the court, about 54,501 children — including both boys and girls — were admitted across 19 orphanages in Karachi from 2010 to 2020.
Data collected by the FIA revealed that some 414 children were taken from orphanages for adoption, while 129 of the adopted children have moved abroad with their foster parents.
The report further stated that about 93 girls living in different orphanages and shelter homes have been married off.
As for data related to deaths, the report said that a total of 1,597 children, including both boys and girls, have died in different orphanages over the last 10 years. Of the total, 1,550 bodies had been buried in Karachi’s Mawach Goth Cemetery which is run by the Edhi Foundation.
The report further stated that 325 children are living across six orphanages in Hyderabad. Over the last 10 years, 64 children from Hyderabad orphanages have been handed over to their parents.