Protecting children from child abuse
While in quarantine, some children are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Staying at home for an extended period of time could increase tensions among house members especially those households with existing domestic problems. Health protocols such as physical distancing and early curfew hours limit the access of families to normal support services.
According to a report from the Philippine National Police as of April this year, there is a recorded 521 cases of crimes against children. The Department of Justice also noted that the number of online sexual exploitation of children has tripled.
In Moises Padilla, a province in Negros Occidental, World Vision is helping address the concern of potential abuse cases by strengthening information awareness of key community leaders and the families.
The organization partnered with the local government unit and printed information, education and communication materials, including the referral pathway of where families can report if an abuse happens.
“In this time of pandemic, many children are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. To protect children in our communities, we continue to educate our village officials about the proper child protection reporting and referral protocol and to mainstream programs for the prevention and response on children’s protection. Our big thanks to World Vision for sharing resource materials and technical guidance,” shares Kersey Sumadhay, the Focal Person of the Local Council for the Protection of Child in the municipality and a Social Welfare Officer of the Municipality Social Welfare and Development Office.
A total of 260 child protection activity workbooks were also printed and distributed to local leaders which they can share to children within the neighborhood.This activity workbook benefits both parents and the children. It will allow the children to continue learning and skills development especially about child rights and protection. The workbook will also inform the parents and caregivers about their role in protecting their child.
“I feel more safe and empowered when I know how to protect myself from abuses and also my rights. My parents are using the Child Protection Life Skills workbook provided by World Vision to teach us,” says Licha, 10 years old.