Child protection policy matters
ESP-I, Don Leopoldo Gialogo Memorial School, Tapaz East District
IF ONLY Dr. Jose Rizal can rise from the dead, he will for sure hunt every man or woman abusing children – the hope of the fatherland.
Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. Organizations and professionals who work with children are required to ensure that their policies and practices reflect this responsibility.
A child protection policy provides guidelines for organizations and their staff to create safe environments for children. It is a tool that protects both children and staff by clearly defining what action is required to keep children safe, and ensuring a consistency of behavior so that all staff follow the same process.
A child protection policy also demonstrates an organization’s commitment to children and ensures public confidence in its safe practices.
Do schools have child protection policy in placed? The kind of policy that has clearly defined requirements to keep children and staff safe, with clear ways of identifying concerns, with appropriate procedures should a concern arise, guidelines for reporting and recording concerns, recruitment guidelines including screening and vetting procedures for both paid and unpaid staff, safe working practices and agreed staff behaviors, and child protection training for all adults working with children?
Studies show that three out of 10 children in grades 1 to 3 and almost five out of 10 from high school experienced physical violence (such as pinching and hitting) committed by teachers; four out of 10 children in grades 1 to 3 and seven out of 10 in higher grade levels experienced verbal abuse by their teachers; 36.53 percent of children in grades 4 t 6 and 42. 88 percent of high school students experienced verbal sexual violence in school and 11.95 percent of
children in grades 4 to 6 and 17.60 percent of high school students have experienced inappropriate touching; 73.58 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 78.36 percent in high school in urban areas suffered verbal abuse violence from their peers; 30.17 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 37.57 percent in high school in rural areas experienced physical abuse or violence committed by their peers; 26.74 percent of children in grades 4 to 6 and 43.71 percent in high school in urban areas experienced verbal sexual abuse committed by their peers; and 9.65 percent of grades 4 to 6 and 17.71 percent of high school students experienced inappropriate touching.
The Department of Education (DepEd) launched its Child Protection Policy on May 3, 2012, through DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012, to promote a zero-tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other related offenses. The child protection policy has established the corporal punishment or that kind of punishment or penalty imposed for an alleged or actual offense (physical, sexual, psychological and other acts of violence), which is carried out or inflicted, for the purpose of discipline, training or control, by a teacher, school administrator, an adult, or any other child who has been given or has assumed authority or responsibility for punishment or discipline.
Child protection is more than just a responsibility. It is a strong commitment we have towards our children. All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation. The situation of all children must be improved through promotion of their rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes the right to freedom from abuse and exploitation. Child abuse is never acceptable.