Thursday, October 26, 2006

Children Not "Safe"

A three-year study yields distressing news about children worldwide. The United Nations report,
"Violence Against Children" says around 275 million children worldwide face domestic violence within the "safe" confines fo their homes.

Other forms of violence against children, although not hidden, are subtle--in every country. This following excerpt focuses on South Asia and India in particularly because it is from the Indian Social Institute based in New Dehli.


18. India has most working children, says UN (14)

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23: The first comprehensive global study by the United Nations on "Violence Against Children" says around 275 million children worldwide face domestic violence within the "safe" confines of their homes. The study, which took three years to complete, observes that violence against children is widely accepted as “normal” in most societies. India finds mention — in the South Asia regional study — as the country with the “largest number of working children in the world.” Official figures put it at 11.2 million while ILO estimates more than double that number at 23 million. In addition, there are almost 75 million children who do not go to schools but who are not counted in these figures, and they may also be working. The study focuses on the nature and extent of violence against children in all spheres — within their homes and families, at schools, in institutions (orphanages, detention centres), at work and within their community. It concludes that children as in the case of rape victims face violence at the hands of people they know and trust. Cases of extreme violence against children hit the headlines but the more common, daily, repeated small acts of violence go unreported and unrecognised. Moreover, “people and children themselves accept violence as an inevitable part of life.” There are startling lacunae in legislations protecting children from violence. At least 106 countries still allow physical punishment in schools and 145 countries do not ban corporal punishment in care institutions. The study commissioned by the Secretary-General and conducted by independent expert Paulo Sergio Pinheiro since 2003, also makes recommendations to be implemented by member states. Prominent among these is the need for member states to appoint a children’s ombudsman or children’s rights commissioner. (Indian Express 24/10/06)


No comments: