Rabu, 24 Juli 2013


     Jakarta, July 24, 2013 (Antara) - On the occasion of the National Children's Day on July 23, the Indonesian people were urged to protect children and fulfill their basic rights as child abuse and child sexual assault are still rampant in this country.
        According to the National Commission for Child protection's data,  around 535 cases of sexual abuses of children were recorded from January to July 2013.
         Child sexual abuses constituted 52 percent of all child abuse cases reported in Indonesia, the Commission's Chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said in Jakarta on July 23.

         Other crimes against children included physical assaults (294 cases or 28 percent) and psychological assaults (203 cases or 20 percent), he said.
          Ironically most of the perpetrators of the sexual abuses were people who are close to the victims, such as the victims' fathers, uncles, and  neighbors, as well as school security guards, he added.
         In 2012, the National Commission for Child Protection received reports of 2,637 cases of violence against children - 62 percent of them or 1,634 cases were sexual assaults and abuses, according to a
media report.
         Last year, there was a ten percent increase in the number of sexual abuses as compared to 2011, despite the fact that rape cases and sexual abuses are serious crimes and the perpetrators of such crimes can be sentenced to a minimum of three years or a maximum of 15 years in prison.
         According to the Commission, last year was termed "emergency situation of sexual crimes against children" in Indonesia.
         To help protect the country's children, the National Commission for Child Protection plans to form working groups for child protection in every neighborhoods with active participation of the people, he said.
    He reminded that the child abuse prevention is the responsibility of all parties including the government, the community and families.
         The whole community must play active roles in protecting children and preventing child abuses, he said, adding that they could at least report it to the authorities if they knew about abuses against children.
         A similar call was also voiced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when leading a function to observe the National Children's Day 2013.
    "The fulfillment of children's basic rights is in line with the mandate of the constitution stating that every child has the rights to live, grow and develop as well as to be protected from violence and discrimination," he said.
          He emphasized four child's basic rights, namely right to care and upbringing, health, education and recreation, and to protection from violence, exploitation and discrimination.
          According to the head of state, children constituting 34 percent of Indonesia's total population, are the future of the nation.
          The government has already designed several policies including developing child-friendly cities (KLA program) to improve the condition of children.
          "Thank God right now there are already 60 cities and districts that have developed to become child-friendly (KLA)," he said adding that 44 of them were able to develop by themselves using their regional budget.
         He said the government has also widened access to education for  children by providing "School Operational Aid" and "Poor Student Aid."
   "The aids are given to increase participation of children from the economically-weak families in backward and isolated regions, fishermen families and migrant workers' dispatching centers," he said.
          He said the government also gave support to and facilitate various innovative programs that could increase their brightness, fitness, security and welfare.
         "We wish more Indonesian children and teenagers would be able to make achievements in the fields of science, sports, arts and others at national as well as international levels," he said.
          To the national police and the ministry of justice and human rights President Yudhoyono appealed to cooperate to prevent, save and protect children from crimes such as abduction, trafficking for exploitative purposes such as employment, illegal adoption, narcotic abuse and others.
          According to the social affairs ministry, around two million Indonesian children do not live with their biological parents but they live in nursing homes or live with their relatives or adoptive parents.
         Ideally children should live with their biological parents because it has positive impacts on the development of their personality, Samsudi, the social affairs ministry's social rehabilitation director general, said on July 23.
         Improper parenting could lead to problems such as violence, drug addiction, and criminality, he said.
          Child rearing by biological parents could help prevent children from having deviant behavior, he said, adding that parenting by relatives or adoptive parents should be one of the last options.
         He cited a study that children living with their biological parents usually develop better personality and well-behaved.
         Good parenting is important because children could also become perpetrators of crimes, apart from being victims.
         The Jakarta Globe daily quoted data from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry's Directorate General of Corrections in June 2013 that 1,182 children had committed sexual crimes.
         Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin said sexual harassment has become the second highest crime committed by Indonesian children, after robbery, the English daily reported on July 24, 2013.
         He said the increase had occurred in several provinces in the country since 2011. The minister attributed such behavior to, among other things, technological advancement and weak supervision from both parents and society.
         The number of children detained in Indonesia reached 5,709. The minister announced sentence reductions for 684 child prisoners in coinciding with National Children's Day this year. ***4***
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