In Pictures: Pakistan’s street children

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera
There are two types of street children in Pakistan. Those who start and end their day on the streets while the latter live with their families but are sent to the streets to make money.
/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

About 25,000 children daily defy the weather and physical restraints and wander on Karachi’s roads to sell tissue papers, clean windscreens or just knock on car windows begging.

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Street children are vulnerable to sexual abuse on a daily basis. More than 90 percent have been sexually assaulted and the biggest culprits are police officials, according to Asif.

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Only eight percent of children living on the streets in Pakistan are female. Most of them are picked up when they arrive on the streets and then sold off into prostitution for about Rs 25,000 each ($250).

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Apart from a huge number of Afghan migrants, about 45 percent of street children in Pakistan are Myanmarese and Bengalis, with those communities having 58 settlements in Karachi alone.

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

Shrines, where these children visit regularly to fill up their stomachs, are the most popular places for the mafia to recruit them. These locations also act as hotspots for children to acquire cheap drugs and heroin, costing around 20 cents ($0.20).

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

The hustle-bustle of the city life enticed Ali to leave his village home. The video game shops, the sight of “better” food, the availability of cheap drugs and glue-sniffing, made him forget his “plain and stagnant” life at home.

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

There is no law against internal trafficking in Pakistan, Asif said, as children from the north often end up in Pakistan’s metropolises.

/Faras Ghani/ Al Jazeera

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