Stake­hold­ers dis­cuss and de­bate vi­o­lence against chil­dren

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Rinzin Lhamo/ Thim­phu

Atwo-day con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing on the vi­o­lence against chil­dren in Thim­phu on 20 and 21 Oc­to­ber dis­cussed a num­ber of is­sues re­lated to vi­o­lence com­mit­ted against chil­dren.

The par­tic­i­pants dis­cussed and re­viewed the re­port of re­search on vi­o­lence against chil­dren in our coun­try car­ried out by Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren (NCWC). The re­port pre- sents three types of vi­o­lence against chil­dren, namely phys­i­cal, sex­ual and emo­tional vi­o­lence.

The re­port shows that 6 out of 10 chil­dren (64 per­cent) aged be­tween 13-17 years ex­pe­ri­enced phys­i­cal vi­o­lence at least once in their life­time. Boys are seen to be more prone to phys­i­cal vi­o­lence com­pared to girls. Schools and homes are the most prom­i­nent places where chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence max­i­mum vi­o­lence.

The direc­tor of NCWC, Kun­zang Lhamu, said, “Cor­po­ral pun­ish­ments in homes and schools need to be looked into.”

The sur­vey re­port also states that 12.8 per­cent of chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence sex­ual vi­o­lence once in their life­time. A larger pro­por­tion of girls (13.5 per­cent) ex­pe­ri­ence sex­ual vi­o­lence com­pared to boys (11.9 per­cent). Most of the sex­ual vi­o­lence takes place in schools with the touch­ing be­ing the high­est type of vi­o­lence re­lated to sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

The min­is­ter for Works and Hu­man Set­tle­ment and the chair of NCWC, Ly­onpo Dorji Cho­den, said, “Vi­o­lence is shaped by our cul­ture.” Mi­nor chil­dren’s rape is per­pe­trated by the peo­ple known to the vic­tim, Ly­onpo added.

Ac­cess to the internet has in­creased the ex­po­sure to dig­i­tal pornog­ra­phy among the chil­dren. 41.7 per­cent of boys have seen pornog­ra­phy films com­pared to 28.7 per­cent of girls. Home has been the place where chil­dren are ex­posed to such films.

The re­search shows that lack of love is the most im­por­tant type of emo­tional vi­o­lence ex­pe­ri­enced by the chil­dren.

Mis­use of al­co­hol is one of the driv­ers of vi­o­lence against chil­dren. If peo­ple who hold the re­spon­si­bil­ity to care the chil­dren takes al­co­hol, than they harm the chil-

dren lead­ing to phys­i­cal and emo­tional vi­o­lence.

Eco­nomic sta­tus also pro­motes vi­o­lence. The study shows that chil­dren be­long­ing to poor fam­ily back­ground are seen more ex­posed to vi­o­lence and thus lead­ing to chil­dren drop­ping school and work­ing to earn money for the fam­ily.

Di­vorce is seen as the most sig­nif­i­cant risk fac­tor that leads to vi­o­lence. As per the study par­tic­i­pants, step par­ents con­sider step chil­dren as ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial bur­den and of­ten show fa­voritism for their bi­o­log­i­cal chil­dren.

Chil­dren with low learn­ing skills or nonaca­demic chil­dren are more vul­ner­a­ble to vi­o­lence by teach­ers. Chil­dren with phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­abil­ity can­not de­fend them­selves, so they have more vul­ner­a­bil­ity of vi­o­lence. Sim­i­larly girls with dis­abil­i­ties are more likely to be at risk of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

So­cial norms and tradi- tional prac­tices are other driv­ers that in­crease the chil­dren’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity to vi­o­lence.

The ju­di­ciary and the po­lice are the last re­sort to record the vi­o­lence, said Pema Dechen from Phuntshol­ing Dungkhag Court.

One of the youth par­tic­i­pants sug­gested that an anti- bul­ly­ing day be in­sti­tuted in schools.

The re­search was car­ried out in three phase– lit­er­a­ture re­view, qual­i­ta­tive as­sess­ment, and quan­ti­ta­tive sur­vey over a pe­riod of three years.

The con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing was con­ducted with an ob­jec­tive to dis­cuss and share the re­search find­ings on vi­o­lence against chil­dren with the stake­hold­ers. It was also aimed to dis­cuss, re­view and get rec­om­men­da­tions on the vi­o­lence against chil­dren re­search in or­der to in­cor­po­rate and im­ple­ment into the Na­tional strat­egy and Na­tional Plan of Ac­tion for Chil­dren pro­tec­tion.

The meet­ing was at­tended by par­tic­i­pants from the gov­ern­ment, Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tions, me­dia, UNICEF, Royal Bhutan Po­lice, the ju­di­ciary, and Drat­shang Lhentshog, among oth­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.