Violence against Children – from the Family and the Neighborhood
Corporal punishment is a manner of physical child abuse and the extent of it can leave physical as well as mental scars. According to a UN report in the case of schools, there are 106 countries that have banned corporal punishment in schools. This may be a good initiative; but 147 countries still condone corporal punishment in schools. This illustrates the nature in which child abuse is still legally possible in a majority of the countries. In a further report, there are only 16 countries that have banned the use of corporal punishment in homes. This is an illustration of little the measures are implemented on a global scale and how they facilitate the nature of child abuse (General Assembly, 2006).
Based on global research it is evident that physical abuse is the prime factor of child abuse. WHO (World Health Organization) recorded that in 2002 up to 98 percent of children at home experience some form of physical punishment, and a third of the children suffer severe punishment that can or results in actual death. This was the case in 2002, where 53,000
In schools it is claimed that 20-65 percent of the students report of being physically bullied within a period of 30 days. It is a trend that is evident in industrialized countries, where the bullies take after their parents and apply the aspect of physical bullying in school.
In other evidence it is revealed that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 experience forced sexual intercourse (Pinheiro, 2006). Based on research, a large number of the children are forced into having sex with their parents. In some cases they are locked in their room as a punishment, and then the parent walks in and forces the child to have sex with them. In other cases, children that do not have parents and live with their aunts and uncles are forced to become sex objects and are sexually abused during their childhood (Pinheiro, 2006). These are only the accounted cases that are available and it is hard to estimate the actual number regarding the cases that are still unaccounted for regarding sexual child abuse.
In the case of Africa, there is the tradition of genital mutilation or circumcision. It is considered to be the passage from childhood to adult hood. In many cases the children that go through this process are not comfortable with the process, but are forced to go through it. According to UN research, it is revealed that 3 million girls in the Sub-Saharan part of Africa, Egypt and Sudan are forced into genital mutilation annually. In actual fact it is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls have been subjected
Another element of child abuse that has become evident is aspect of child labor. In 2004, 218 million children were believed to be involved in child labor; of this, 126 children were involved in hazardous work (Pais, 2011). This stems from poor regions and families who are unable to get their children in to school for an education and thus are forced into working to provide for the family. In some cases, a parent can be sick, and the child is forced to drop out of school and work to get money for medication
In other circumstances, parents may just force their children to work so that they may rest (Pinheiro, 2006). This is evident in the Middle-East and Africa, as children are forced to work as maids or even in manufacturing plants where they are exposed to dangerous elements. There are probably a number of cases in which children have died in manufacturing plants but are unaccounted for as the company(s) are afraid of affecting the reputation, and thus keep the matter concealed (General Assembly, 2006). In the case of children working as maids, they are subjected to physical abuse and in the case of girls, sexual abuse on a number of occasions. In other jobs, 5.7 million children in forced labour where they are caged or chained like dogs or pets. 1.8 million are involved in prostitution and pornography, while 1.2
In conclusion, the extent of child abuse is evident as it takes the shape and form of several factors. It is a growing concern as the nature and the extent of child abuse can be considered to know no bounds. The manner in which child abuse is carried out may be worrying and it is also a factor that is having a negative influence on child development especially in Africa and the Middle-East, where the cases are the most severe. Steps have been taken to try and end child abuse, but in actual fact it is not enough. More needs to be done before the future (Children) is no more.
General Assembly (2006) Rights of the Child, United Nations, retrieved from: http://www.unicef.org/violencestudy/reports/SG_violencestudy_en.pdf
Pinheiro. P. S (2006) World Report on Violence against Children, retrieved from: http://www.unviolencestudy.org/
Pais. M. S (26th October 2011) League of Arab States meets in Doha, Qatar, to review progress in follow-up to the UN Study on Violence against Children, Violence against Children, retrieved from: http://srsg.violenceagainstchildren.org/story/2011-10-26_405