Stop abusing children!
Speakers at a conference called an end to child abuse in homes and schools in the Arab world.
March 5, 2009 12:21 by Dana El Baltaji
Speakers at the last session of the Third Arab ISPCAN Regional Conference on Child Protection: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect in the Arab Countries said schools should ban corporal punishment and teach child rights.
The final session was chaired by the conference coordinator, Dr. Maha Al Muneef, and was attended by over 1,500 delegates from across the Arab world.
Delegates said there was a need to teach children their rights to help them defend themselves against abuse and violence. The recommendations included the need to teach the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in classrooms.
It was also recommended that corporal punishment should not only be prohibited in classrooms, but also discouraged in homes and communities. “Adults should know the mental and physical agony of children who receive bodily punishment in the presence of others,” said the final communiqué of the conference.
It was decided that a national strategy should be chalked out in all Arab countries to prevent violence against children. When drawing up such plans, the mental, social and health conditions of the children should be taken into account. “Such a strategy should incorporate the assistance of governmental and nongovernmental bodies for successful implementation of the programs,” said the communiqué.
The conference pressed for a hotline for victims of child abuse. “The hotline should be available in Arabic in all Arab countries and it should be a round-the-clock service to enable affected children to report to the authorities any time of the day,” it said.
Participants also recommended that disabled children should be given special care under the program. “Looking after their needs should be prioritized and they should be given the needed care to avoid falling into the wrong hands,” the statement said.
It was also decided that research should be promoted to identify the patterns and practices of abuse against children.
First seen in Arab News.