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Save our children

Save our children

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There needs to be more focus on the issue of child abuse and its prevention. Abuse could be physical, as well as sexual, and could have a psychological impact on a child. Prevention is a difficult task because of the nature of the acts, which make detection difficult. Moreover, because familiar persons around the victim might perpetrate abuse, there could be unwillingness on the victim not to disclose. Abuse might be swept under the carpet, but persons who work with children and families would know that it is there and is hurting and as one writer said “child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime”.

Abuse often occurs within the confines of the home. The place where it is least expected. The abuser more often than not swears the child to secrecy or showers him/her with gifts to prevent the child from reporting to others.

The abuse and exploitation of children must come to an end. Children must be allowed to grow up with their innocence intact. Children should not be made to carry awesome burdens for experiences of this sort and at that tender age would no doubt leave psychological scars that could plague them for the rest of their lives. It does the society no good to have bitter angry adults.

The Role of parents

The time has come for parents to be more vigilant. Parents are obligated to provide proper supervision for their children. If children have money and gifts that do not come from a legitimate source, there should be some investigation. Young children may be given goodies and money or issued threats for their silence. The offenders may appeal to children’s innocence and sense of trust by telling them that it is their little secret, not to be shared with others. Children would be too ashamed to speak about such experiences.

Safe havens

If the home does not provide a safe haven then there must be a place where children could be encouraged to speak freely to trustworthy persons. This access is so important, because in some cases the parents might not only refuse to believe, but could be part of the problem.

Rights of the child

The United Nations has seen the need to support the rights of children. In the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Human Rights Declaration, consideration has been given to the rights of the child. The General Assembly passed resolution 1386 (xiv) on November 20, 1959 by which it reaffirmed its faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person. It also proclaimed that by “reason of the physical and mental immaturity, special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth” must be provided to the child. In making this decision it gave consideration to the physical and mental immaturity of the child.

The United Nation International Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in December, 1946 to help children all over the world. In 1953, its name was shortened to The United nation Children’s Fund, but the acronym remains. On September 2, 1990, the Conventions on the Rights of the child came into force. The convention set out the rights of the child in 54 articles and two optional Protocols. It includes the whole range of basic human rights for children everyway. It recognizes the need to develop children to the fullest and to protect them from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation. Governments everywhere have been encouraged to incorporate the convention into their local laws.

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