Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Re-Post From The Filipina Mom In Denmark

A Re-Post From The Filipina Mom In Denmark


The many faces of child abuse

childrenAccording to the Children’s Convention which was ratified in the UN’s General Assembly in 1989; every child under 18 no matter where in the world has the right:

· Children’s rights to basic needs - such as food, health and a place to live.
· Children’s right to development -such as education, play, leisure and information.
· Children’ right to protection- such as against war, violence, abuse and exploitation
· Children’ right to participation- such as influence, participation and freedom of expression

But everywhere in the world most of these right are violated especially in the developing countries because of poverty and ignorance. Different customs and beliefs also dictates the norms in a particular society.

In the streets of Manila Philippines, you can see street children everywhere while you’re driving, outside the restaurants, in the markets, under the bridge and everywhere except in the big commercial centers where there are security guards. At night they sleeps in cartoon boxes or wooden carts and who knows if they had eaten anything. These children are stow aways, orphans or just that their parents don’t have any capacity to feed and house them. It was the same sight that greets me when I studied in Manila more than 20 years ago but now it’s worse. What is worse is that they are being exploited by syndicates. They use streets children to steal, sell like flowers, candies, cigarettes, wash window/windshields and a lot of thing. The police cannot eradicates these syndicates or even protects these children.Social Centers are filled and they just grow up to be hardened criminals or prostitutes. Who can help them these children? I know some good hearted people or organizations, religious institutions like Caritas Manila helps and takes care of them but it’s not enough.Another big issue in the Philippines and other developing countries id child labor when was very rampant before although it was outlawed it is still practiced by other businesses.
When I live here in Denmark I learned about other form of child abuse. One which makes my hair rise is the circumcision of young girls by cutting their clitoris because they are not suppose to enjoy sex. Thankfully that it was outlaw because it is against human right and not all Muslims practice this.

There are also people living under the poverty level and I watch sometimes that parents complain that they can provide their children what other can like toys, clothings and holidays which is they can not afford to go on vacation. But I think this is not a big problem here because of the Social Security they will be taken care unlike in the Philippines. What I think the biggest child abuse in the west is the sexual abuse which was these past few months dominated the newspapers. There was a case about a father who sold his daughters to do sexual favors to sick minded men with the consent of his wife. How about the famous Josef Fritzl Case in Austria where he raped and imprisoned his daughter in the basement for 23 year and produced 7 children. He admitted his crime and was recently sentenced to lifetime.

The are many faces of child abuse but sexual abuse and incest are most common here in the West. Children are being abused of people they trust and close to them. Last year there was a chief of police, teachers, sports trainer and even children. Who we gonna trust? Parents somehow become paranoid because of this. For example in Day care institutions, swimming halls or even in some places it is forbidden to take pictures.

Another form is bullying both form other children or by adults, children of alcoholic or drug addict parents or children who are thorned between parents in a divorce process and many more. Here in Denmark the parents, the teachers are being encourage to teach their children to learn what is inappropriate touch or when their rights are being violated. For example they are being thought to call 112 (hello 911 in other place) if they think their parents or anybody is hitting them. Once I was visiting my friend who was breastfeeding his 4 months old son while the two older was noisy and playing violently, she asked them to stop but after a while they won’t stop she throw a stuffed toy hitting one kid (it wasn’t intentional to hit them) and the older kid said, that he will call the police because the mother hit him. But the mother explain that it wasn’t intentional but still the son will not stop so she said ok just call the police but who gonna breastfeed the baby. So the boy who was 4 1/2 that time ask sorry.

Children’s Council -

in the Philippines call banatay Bata a project of ABS CBN


Since April is Child abuse prevention month I will research more about the the hotline one can call if they need somebody to call if they are victim of abuse or incest and other resources. I just want this post before 24:00 today.
As a mother my heart suffers when I hear about children who were abused or mishandled and I can only do one thing is to help create awareness and encourage others to do so. I support Rainbow who organized this event in Bloggers Unite.


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Posted by: The Filipina Mom In Denmark
Reposted by: Mel Alarilla
Advocacy/Filipino Cause

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