UNICEF commissioned a survey about violence against children, the Philippines cooperated and completed this initiative.
The main purpose of the recently concluded Ako Para Sa Bata 2015 International Conference is to address the problem of manipulation, exploitation and abuse of kids. According to UNICEF, violence against children have many forms, this can be any of the following:
- physical and emotional discipline
- sexual abuse
- child marriage
- child labor
- trafficking and
- armed violence
To effectively deal with violence against children, each country must identify and recognise its unique challenges, then introduce initiatives that will address the root cause(s) to prevent recurrence. And in this light, the Philippines is on the right direction. PH just completed a national survey of violence against children, administered by UNICEF.
Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF representative in the Philippines, presented the findings in one of the plenary sessions of #APSB2015. Though she acknowledged that an in-depth analysis is still needed, the findings below is enough to give stakeholders the overview of the violence against children in Philippine context:
- Physical Violence Against Children
- More boys are on the receiving end of physical violence than girls.
- The highest incidence of physical violence happened in the child’s own home, where
- A parent is the #1 perpetrator, followed by siblings
- Psychological Violence Against Children
- Both boys and girls experience high incidence of psychological violence.
- The child’s own home, followed by school is where psychological violence occurs.
- Sexual Violence Against Children
- Surprisingly, boys received more sexual violence than girls
- This usually happens at home wherein the top three perpetrators are
- (1) Siblings, (2) parent/step parent, then (3) cousins
- Cyber Violence Against Children
- Online exploitation of kids is the #1 cyber crime being committed in the Philippines
- The Philippines is one of the 10 countries with rampant online child exploitation involving boys and girls aged 10-14.
- High incidence of physical and emotional bullying is noted
- This is more prevalent among girls.
The Philippines, said Sylwander, despite the high incidence of online child abuse, still deserves commendation– PH is fighting online violence against children with the collective efforts of the inter-agency councils and government offices. Add to that, appropriate laws were enacted to protect children from cyber crimes.
After digesting the survey report, I felt sad because the very people who ought to protect the children are the ones committing violence against them. I believe half of the violence against children can be reduced if programs are targeted toward parents. I’m glad too, in my own little way, my cyber wellness initiative, is helping fellow parents to keep their kids safe online.
What do you think have contributed to this problem and what can YOU do to reduce the risk of your own child, grandchild, nephew or nieces from experiencing any forms of abuse?