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Wider support sought for anti-child-abuse bill

Wider support sought for anti-child-abuse bill

The government is planning to revise law relevant to child abuse cases in order to unite more people in the fight to prevent and curb child abuse in Taiwan.
An Interior Ministry official confirmed yesterday that his ministry is studying a revision of the Child and Juvenile Welfare Act, so that village workers, village and ward chiefs, as well as apartment and building janitors will also be obliged to report to law enforcement on child abuse cases that take place in areas where they work.
People who are currently required by the law to report such cases in areas under their jurisdiction are medical staffers in local hospitals, social workers, teachers, caretakers, police, and judicial personnel.
According to a proposed revision to the law, those working in any these professions who fail to report a child abuse case will be fined NT$6,000 and NT$30,000, the official said, adding that the bill may be sent to a cross-ministerial meeting for review in June.
The ministry does not fine those who fail to report child abuse cases until after they have become more familiar with their new duties, the official said.
The ministry is also working on measures to more closely monitor low-income and single-parent families, families composed of grandparents and grandchildren, or families whose members were found to have used drugs, or have suffered from mental or drinking problems.
The official called on the people to take the initiative of calling "113" to report cases where children are being abused or deserted, so that the government can take action to protect them.
According to government statistics, as of 2006, there were 360,000 children under the age of 12 years and 2,000,000 juveniles in the age group of 12 to 18 years living in Taiwan, representing 15.6 percent and 8.5 percent of the population respectively - a total of 24 perecent.
The official said the government is striving to integrate and strengthen both public and private sectors in hopes of implementing better welfare services, such as protection and counseling services for children and juveniles.
The Child and Juvenile Welfare Act was enacted in May 2003 as a result of the merger of the Child Welfare Act and the Juvenile Welfare Act to guarantee the rights and interests of children and juveniles. The Interior Ministry started to delegate child and juveniles affairs to the Children's Bureau in September 2003.
The official said an increase in high-income households and single-parent families changed the social structure of Taiwan. Many issues surfaced, including infant and child care, after school care, care for children with developmental problems, living assistance, placement, referral, protection, counseling and medical insurance for abused, abandoned and unsupported children and juveniles, etc.
There are also needs for the prevention of child and juvenile deviant behavior, referral, placement and counseling services for juvenile offenders, child and juvenile sexual transaction prevention and juvenile crime prevention.


Updated : 2021-05-10 13:36 GMT+08:00