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Child abuse: Methods of protecting children against various abuses

BY: Deena David | Category: Social Issues | Post Date: 2010-02-01

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   Deena David
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The child abuse is any voluntary action of a person who was in a relationship of responsibility, trust or authority, who has endangered their life, physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social, physical integrity, physical or mental health of a child.

Physical abuse (also known as physical violence) is the painful physical harm or contact not by accident, including physical intimidation directed towards the child (e.g.: someone's gesture to raise their hand against a child). Physical abuse is the physical trauma (which can vary in intensity from small bruises to fractures or even death of the minor) produced as a result of pricking, slapping, beating, asphyxiating or binding caused by an abusing person.

The deed of an adult to avoid intervening in the act of violence or encouraging the violence of children against other children who are in their care (like older brothers) is also considered a form of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse (also called sexual violence) consists of offensive comments against children, sexual harassment, harmful or unpleasant allusions, various insults, indecent proposals. Several categories of sexual abuse are: rape (sexual intercourse against the will of the child), paedophilia (sexual attraction to young adult) and incest (sexual contact between parents and children or between brothers and sisters).

Emotional abuse (also called psychological abuse) can occur through injury, threats, intimidation, insults, isolation, neglect, rejection, indifference, using appellatives or denigrating labels, etc. Threat of physical violence is also a psychological abuse.

Misuse of hazardous substances - This type of abuse can be caused by exposure to the unborn child (or infant who is breast feeding) to risk factors because the mother consumed illegal substances that can cause trauma to the foetus (or baby). Also, this category includes the use of alcohol, drugs or psychotropic substances near the child, sale or free distribution of alcohol or drugs to a minor.

The World Congress that is against sexual exploitation of children or adolescents, organized by the Government of Brazil, ECPAT, UNICEF and several other international NGOs, was held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), registering a record figure of 3,000 participants from over 125 countries.

"Sexual exploitation of children can be avoided" was the message of the congress in Rio, whose main objectives were to create and implement an action plan to prevent, prohibit and stop the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and grant the necessary support towards those who have already fallen victim to such abuse.

The action plan is to launch an appeal to all countries to: define, prohibit and punish by law, existing international standards, all the acts of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents; to ensure that child victims of sexual exploitation are not punished for crimes committed during the process of exploitation, but they are granted the status of victim and treated as such; to promote and protect the privacy of child victims of sexual exploitation, so that their identity won't be disclosed during the legal process or by the media.

It also aims to establish by 2013, mechanisms and / or specific processes to facilitate coordination and cooperation at national, regional and international level between government ministries, UN agencies, NGOs, private sector, media, children's organizations and other representatives of civil society in view of developing concrete actions to prevent and stop sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

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