Posted by: Indonesian Children | June 12, 2009

UNICEF and Government of Indonesia launched a national campaign to stop violence against children. UNICEF condemns child abuse as a violation of child rights and calls for urgent action to stop violence against children

source : Unicef


The Government of Indonesia and UNICEF today called on all members of society to take urgent action to stop violence against children. The plea came at the launch of the Stop Violence against Children campaign in Jakarta this morning. The campaign, which lasts for a month, is a joint initiative of the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

Studies conducted by UNICEF confirm that violence affects children regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity and economic status. In Indonesia, even though accurate figures are not available on the extent of violence and abuse against children, it is considered to be a widespread phenomenon.
It is often difficult to get people to talk on the subject of violence against children as culturally, the issue is still conceived as a domestic affair.

Launching the national campaign, Prof. Dr. Meutia Hatta Swasono, Minister for Women’s Empowerment called for all forms of violence against children to be ended. “I would like to urge all elements of the society to work together and to coordinate efforts to make a real and lasting difference on the life of our children,” said the Minister.

Bella Diniyah Putri, 15 years old from Lampung province and a recipient of UNICEF-Government of Indonesia’s Youth Leadership Award in 2005, presented her views on violence. “Children should be nourished with affection, not with harsh discipline,” said Bella. Dr. Irwanto, a child rights expert, and Chairperson of the Research Institute of Atma Jaya University presented a situation analysis on violence against children in Indonesia. “One of the challenges faced by parents and caregivers is the lack of skills to understand and to work together with children. Violence should not be associated to discipline ” said Dr. Irwanto.

UNICEF-supported studies in Indonesia reveal:

  • Two-third of boys and nearly one-third of girls interviewed for a survey in West Nusa Tenggara (2002) had been physically beaten. Over one-quarter of the girls had been raped.
  • The vast majority of 1,500 children interviewed for a study in East Nusa Tenggara (2003) had been slapped, punched, or had an object thrown at them.
  • Up to 80 per cent of teachers use corporal punishment or abuse children verbally – as a 2006 study from Central Java, South Sulawesi and North Sumatra shows.
  • Social stratification still exists in East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara (2006) putting children especially the girl-child more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia said “In most cases, perpetrators of violence against children are the very individuals in charge of their safety and wellbeing. Everyone has responsibility to put an end to violence and ensure that children grow and develop in a protective environment.

Abuse of children can hamper their growth and development, and in some cases lead to the death of the child. It affects children’s health and their ability to learn, and can lead children to run away from home, exposing them to further risks. Abuse also destroys children’s self-confidence and can undermine their ability to become good parents in the future. Many abusers were themselves abused as children. Children suffering from abuse are at increased risk of depression and suicide.



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