Protección de los niños, niñas y adolescentes

Protection of children and adolescents

Protección de los niños y adolescentes

Derecho al nombre

Violencia y maltrato infantil

Defensorías

Comisión Nacional por los Derechos del Niño

 

Violence and Abuse towards Children

 

Every day, thousands of boys and girls in Peru are physically and psychologically abused by their parents, relatives, teachers or by any adult who considers physical punishment as normal, acceptable and even “necessary”. A proof is that 32.7% of m others still use physical punishment as a way to discipline their children. Moreover, a survey on human rights revealed that 28% of Peruvians justify physical punishment as a corrective measure. One major problem is that there are victims which do not appear in the statistics because in some cases the punishments have caused severe sequels or even resulted in the death of those who received them. Although this often occurs, the different forms of physical punishment s are still being seen as a tool to discipline and teach children.

Some types of violence are:

• The physical and emotional violence is the one that is carried out by adults with the aim of correcting an undesirable behaviour and to teach new conducts which are considered important. It causes physical and/or emotional pain to t he person who receives it. The difference between physical violence and physical abuse i s the intensity and intent of the act of violence.

• Child abuse is an action that is performed by an adult with the intention to generate immediate pain to the other person. The three well-known forms of child abuse are: physical, emotional and psychological abuses, which can result in physical injuries, severe damage or death.

• Sexual violence includes sexual conducts that are imposed on a minor against his or her will by an adult who uses his power or authority inappropriately. There are two defined categories: sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. In the first one, the aggressor is looking for sexual gratification. In the second one, the abuse goes further and becomes a form of slavery where the victim is subjected under duress. The latest also implies a form of purchase and sale in which the children become the property of the exploiter.

UNICEF has been working to deepen the understanding of the structural and underlying causes of violence towards children. The objective is to increase the visibility of this phenomenon through advocacy strategies and social mobilization to ultimately provide adequate answers which take into consideration the characteristics of each region of the country. The plans for the future direct the attention towards policies in the sectors of health, education, women, social development and justice. These are fundamental to articulate prevention and care strategies to reverse problematic situations and to prioritize certain identified issues in the public agenda. This will also encourage further work and coordination with strategic allies and national networks to promote social surveillance.

In that sense, UNICEF assists in the strengthening and capacity building in the field of inter- sectorial response from the State. This should contribute to improve the performance of public services directed to the care of children who are victim s of various forms of violence. It also supports the existence of an efficient system to protect the rights of children with a special focus on gender equity. In addition, it will promote a better understanding of the parenting patterns in the Andean and Amazon communities and in the marginalised urban areas. Finally, it aims to promote the generation of social and regional policies which improve the inter-family relations and reduce violence at home, at school and in the community.

One of the projects on which UNICEF has been working in t he recent years is related to the attention provided to family violence by the comprehensive pro gramme called MAMIs. The Modules to Attend Child Abuse in the Health Care System (MAMIs) focus on six premises: “Comprehensive Care” (both to the victim and the family), “Multinidisciplinary Care” (to help with mental and social health), “Teamwork” (to coordinate actions to protect the victims of violence and to evaluate and adjust intervention strategies), “Training and Capacity Building” (Information workshops addressed to health personnel and teams working on the MAMIs), “Interventions according to the Complexity Levels” (to establish the systems’ processes according to the complexity of health institutions) and t he “Network Intervention” (where the MAMIs are converted into comprehensive networks of complementary and inter-sectorial services).

In 2012, the Modules to Attend Child Abuse in the Health Care System (MAMIs) reported that “twelve thousand children were victims of abuse”. Out of these, eight thousand suffered from psychological abuse, while four thousand suffered from physical abuse. According to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Vulnerable Populations, from January to August 2014, 9 904 cases of family violence and child sexual abuse were attended in the Women Emergency Centres .

The graphic below shows that the majority were between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, 4 327 cases (44% of the total number of case s). Children in the age groups of 0 to 5 and 6 to 11 mainly suffered psychological violence, 45% and 46% respectively. 38% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old who were at tended in 2014 had experienced sexual violence.

 

 
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