Violence, has a devastating impact on children. In addition to the immediate risks to their lives and physical health, violence threatens children’s emotional well-being and their future prospects. Violence can also be passed from one generation to the next because children who experience violence may see it as “normal”.
The issue of abuse and violence against children in Kyrgyzstan is widespread and affects children’s rights most directly.
Studies demonstrate that 73 per cent of children suffer from abuse and neglect in families and 83 per cent of children face violence in school.
A striking number of children are victims or witnesses of different forms of violence in various settings, including homes, alternative care settings, schools and detention facilities. Corporal punishment is not expressly prohibited in the home and in foster and day care.
Bullying by teachers and peers are among the most significant reasons why children in Kyrgyzstan do not attend school and school violence and racketeering have been identified as one of the key causes for increased violence among youth throughout the country, leading to cases of suicide among school students. The children of labour migrants often live with grandparents, relatives or in residential care, which exposes them to abuse and neglect.
As Internet access expands, violence against children is taking on new dimensions such as cyber-bullying and online sexual exploitation, with damaging and life-altering consequences. Adolescents who grow up with violence can see it is a normal part of life. Cultural practices, such as child marriage, also heighten the risks of violence against girls and young women.