Respecting the Rights of Every Child

Julia Chen/Chief of Section on Academic Affairs/Dapi Junior High School, Yunlin County

According to the statistics, child abuse cases have increased more than 10,000 since 2006, and the numbers are still rising every year.  The statistics is saying that every 32 minutes, a case of child abuse occurs in Taiwan.  The abuser is usually the person that the child is intimate with, such as the parent, and the people they live with. These adults regard the child as their property, and they treat them harshly often in anger by scolding and beating them.  Other research shows that the individuals who are abused as children are apt to become child abusers when they grow up.  Things won’t become better if our society doesn’t focus on this issue.

Why does this phenomenon seem to be getting worse in recent years?  A study of Ministry of the Interior (MOI) says that the worldwide economic recession, unemployment, marriage problems and financial hardship are all reasons that could cause child abuse.  Meanwhile, an increasing number of parents have taken their children’s lives, as well as their own, by committing suicide this year.  The financial difficulties are said to be the main factor behind these tragedies.

Our country has been promoting the human rights for decades.  Law has been made to protect people’s privacy, gender equality, and democracy.  However, there is little law or serious fine to stop adults from abusing children. The government should enact a law of anti-child abuse legislation and provide some severe punishments for violators.  School teachers have a responsibility of informing a child abuse case if a child behaves strange at school or there some unusual syndromes that might indicate abuse.  Their neighbors should beware of something happened in their neighborhood.  If everyone cares more, child abuse cases will be reduced because of the new concern.

Recently, the financial crisis has become a worldwide problem, many adults suffer unemployment.  They could have some psychiatric problems that could not be treated.  Some will drink alcohol or take drugs to release the stress.  This kind of alcohol or drug abuse can easily prompt an adult to abuse a child.  Therefore, everyone must face this problem directly, or there will be more and more child abuse cases in the future.  The vicious circle will never end.