Khatmandu: The UN Children Fund, UNICEF, has described the recent reports of children being sexually abused over a period of several years in the Kasur district of Pakistan, are appalling.

Officials say, hundreds of children have been sexually abused and their videos were used to blackmail their parents. “UNICEF is in contact with the Government authorities to understand the full dimension of this crime. Our sympathies are with the children who have been victims to this abuse. It is vital that the children and families affected are immediately offered the necessary care and protection, that will prevent further victimization and allow the difficult process of healing to begin,” Philippe Cori, UNICEF Regional Deputy-Director for South Asia said Tuesday.

“No child should suffer violence, abuse or exploitation. The horrific crimes in Kasur, underline how we must all do more to protect children from such abuses,” he said in a statement. “UNICEF is working closely with the authorities in Pakistan to prevent and respond to such issues affecting children, including sexual violence and abuse. We welcome efforts in Pakistan to tackle the issue of child abuse – including Pakistan signing, along with many other countries, the ‘We Protect” statement of action to end on-line child sexual exploitation,” Mr Cori said in a statement.

He said UNICEF is ready to expand its work with local and national authorities to increase such efforts, so that no child has to suffer these terrible horrors. “We hope also that every effort will be made by the Government of Pakistan to bring to justice those responsible for these terrible abuses.”