World Day on the Prevention of Child Abuse

Date: 19 November 2014

The World Day on the Prevention of Child Abuse is observed internationally as a global occasion to reaffirm and take note of our undeniable responsibility to prevent the physical, verbal, psychological and sexual abuse of children. The issue of child abuse is a universal one which requires greater focus and attention of all concerned authorities to garner effective protection skills and prevention measures at all levels, including at the community, national and international levels. Such collaboration is crucial in ensuring that all rights afforded to children under Article 35 of the Constitution of the Maldives and under the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Maldives had acceded to in 1991 are fully respected and upheld. Despite an increase in reporting, child abuse is still considered a taboo subject, which results in the under representation of the number of cases reported. This distortion in statistics therefore does not reflect the actual number of children who are victims of abuse throughout the country. In an effort to address this issue as well as the linkages between the lack of awareness and its correlation with unreported cases, ARC launched its H.O.P.E Campaign against child abuse in 2010. The H.O.P.E. Campaign aims to disseminate information to the public to raise awareness and to protect a child’s sense of security and empower them. The campaign’s core objectives also include outreach to primary caretakers of children such as parents and teachers, and to provide them with relevant information on observing warning signs of abuse, and on reporting abuse cases to the authorities. On this important occasion, ARC calls upon the Government and all stakeholdersto focus substantially on the issue of child abuse in the Maldives, and to provide adequate resources for effective prevention programmes. ARC reiterates its continued commitment to continue working with all partners to combat the lack of awareness on the prevention of child abuse in society. The World Day on the Prevention of Child Abuse, observed on the 19th of every November was first launched in 2000 by an international coalition of non-governmental organizations and other major stakeholders to create a global partnership to raise awareness, mobilize public opinion and reach out to all corners of society on the important role prevention could play in curtailing child abuse.

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