正視兒童受虐

 

正視兒童受虐

[NAME CHANGED] Javier, 10, attends the UNICEF-supported Carlos Alberto Rivera Hernandez School in San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras, Friday 8 April 2016. Javier's father and five uncles were killed in gang violence and his mother abandoned him. He now lives with his grandmother in the neighbourhood.

Javier has not been threatened or attacked by gang members, but he has friends in the older years who have experienced violence and are too scared to come to school. A 15-year-old girl was killed, having been tortured for two days in a neighbourhood known as ‘casa loca’ (crazy house). Javier only attends school in the morning. Gang members tend to send in ‘flags’ to monitor activity and recruit students in the afternoon. “There is a lot of violence here. I want to be a doctor so I can help people who are hurt”.

With 57 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2015, Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Organized crime grew in the wake of civil wars in the region, which left many people unemployed and with easy access to weapons. As of August 2016, heavily armed gangs have tens of thousands of members in Honduras and neighbouring countries, where they engage in extortion, assassinations, drug trafficking, car theft, illegal gun sales, kidnappings and turf wars.

Instead of being safe learning environments, schools have become recruiting territories for the gangs. Many children and adolescents who attend school must make dangerous trips from their homes to places of education. Once at school, they run the risk of being recruited, threatened, abused, attacked and even killed. The cycle of violence puts many children at risk of physical violence, increasing school dropout rates, as children fear continuing their education.

To address these problems, UNICEF is working with communities to create safe schools. UNICEF supports partners such as the COMVIDA Outreach Centre, which gives children and young people at risk of violence support and guidanc

© UNICEF/UN076693/

月初,5歲女童「臨臨」疑遭虐待致死事件惹來公憤。讓人扼腕的是,這僅是冰山一角。最近,聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)發表報告《熟悉的臉孔:暴力環境中生活的兒童及青少年》,揭示全球眾多兒童(甚至包括年齡低至一歲的嬰兒)正受暴力傷害,施暴者多是他們的監護人,本應提供溫暖及關愛的家更是許多兒童初次受虐的地方。

報告提到,全球約3億名2至4歲兒童曾受家中監護人心理攻擊或(和)體罰、30個有相關數據統計的國家中,每10名一歲的兒童就有6名經常受暴力管教。同時,一歲的兒童中,每4名有1名曾被用力搖晃體罰。不論是何種暴力,均對兒童,特別是其早期發展有嚴重影響,除傷害身體,恐懼和壓力等負面情緒會產生神經毒素,損害其大腦發展,造成永久性傷害。

UNICEF和聯合國兒童基金香港委員會(UNICEF HK)皆堅決捍衛聯合國《兒童權利公約》,守護兒童權利。《公約》列明,每一名兒童都享有包括:醫療、教育、受保護及獲平等機會發展的基本人權。第19條更指出兒童在受照料時,不得受忽視或虐待,包括性侵犯。

為消除針對兒童的暴力行為,UNICEF呼籲各國政府立即行動,支持由我們、世界衞生組織、消除針對兒童暴力的全球合作伙伴組織(Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children)通過並推行的INSPIRE方案,包括協調國家行動,與司法、醫療和兒童等界別合作,消除針對兒童的暴力行為、建立更完善社會服務體系,培訓社工,為受害兒童提供心理輔導和其他服務等。2016年,UNICEF與36個國家合作,防範兒童受虐。我們亦積極在港與各界研討相關方案,包括支持成立兒童事務委員會,加強保障兒童權利。

原文刊登於2018年1月26日《星島日報》「放眼世界」「攜手為兒童」專欄