Unwanted children are vulnerable to neglect

In recent years we have become aware of child abuse in institutions, especially those run by some religious orders in Ireland and other countries throughout the world, by local authorities in Britain, and by institutions in the US and Canada. In the EU, and especially in Eastern Europe, institutions for children are still very prevalent. One of my friends, who spent 18 years in an Irish institution, told me that the abuse suffered by inmates was akin to torture. All children are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, but children with poor health, unwanted children, those born in stigmatised conditions, and handicapped children are more at risk in institutions. Roch Longueepee, for example, reveals scandalous abuse of deaf children at a school for the deaf and blind in Canada.
Governments on a global level are taking measures with the aim of ensuring that such behaviour never occurs again. Some are more advanced in this regard, but all are culturally influenced. This can be seen in the report by Malcolm Hill and his colleagues, International Perspectives on Child Protection. Some countries, like Sweden, use social policies, rather than punitive measures, to promote comprehensive specialist services for families,. Belgium also places emphasis on family support, but they use a multi-disciplinary approach led by a general practitioner. Currently, in Ireland, where child protection agencies are seen as chaotic and under resourced, a new police unit is about to be established to investigate reports of sexual abuse and child neglect. The unit is a response to the Ryan report on institutional abuse, which will be mentioned later. The 2010 report by the Irish Ombudsman for Children exposed failures by the Health Service Executive to adequately protect children, especially the failure to ensure interagency co-operation, and co-operation with the police. The Ombudsman made 22 recommendations to eliminate these failures. The Children First guidelines drawn up by the Department of Health in 1999 have been strengthened and hopefully any failures will not recur. It is an ongoing task to combat this evil behaviour.
Developing countries have not the same level of support and children are at huge risk in these countries.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press

Posted in abuse, Child Abuse