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Child Protection around the World – A Global Perspective Far East: Focus on Hong Kong and Mainland China. Patricia Ip Hong Kong. China. Mainland* Hong Kong Special Administrative Region* Macau Special Administrative Region * Focus of current presentation

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slide1

Child Protection around the World – A Global PerspectiveFar East: Focus on Hong Kong and Mainland China

Patricia Ip

Hong Kong

china
China
  • Mainland*
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region*
  • Macau Special Administrative Region

* Focus of current presentation

    • Mainly on the child protection system in Hong Kong with observations on child protection in mainland China
demographic data of hong kong hk
Demographic Data of Hong Kong (HK)

Area

Population

Children (<18 years)

Chinese descent

Birth rate

Infant mortality

Life expectancy

female

male

  • 1,104 square kilometres (<25% developed)
  • 7.0 million
  • 1.13 million (16.1%)
  • 95%
  • 11.7/1000 population
  • 1.6/1000 live births
  • 86.1 years
  • 79.8 years
developing a child protection system
Developing a child protection system

WHO / ISPCAN (2006)

www.ispcan.org

slide7

Procedural Guide for Handling Child Abuse Cases (1981; latest revision 2007)

  • Basic knowledge on child abuse
  • Multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Handling referrals / enquiry / investigation
  • Roles of relevant departments / organisations

http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_fcwprocedure/id_childabuse1998/

management
Management
  • Investigation
    • Social
    • Medical
    • Police

Individual unit and in collaboration

multidisciplinary case conference
Multidisciplinary Case Conference
  • Agenda
    • Sharing of information
    • Risk assessment – child and other family members
    • Services to child, other family members
    • Whether child abuse established, category
    • Need to enter into the Child Protection Registry
    • Home or alternative placement
    • Follow-up arrangement – by whom, for what
    • Progress report / Review conference
  • Participants
    • Social workers
    • Doctors
    • Nurses
    • Clinical psychologist
    • Police
    • School personnel
    • Parents / child
post case conference
Post-Case Conference
  • Social: Social worker - case manager
    • Counselling, financial, housing assistance
    • Liaison
    • Follow-up Report
    • Review meeting
  • Health:
    • Medical treatment / follow-up
    • Psychiatric / psychological treatment
  • Police
    • +/- legal action
new child abuse cases child protection registry
New Child Abuse CasesChild Protection Registry

. http://www.swd.gov.hk/vs/english/stat.html

physical abuse
Physical Abuse
  • Prior to 1992: >85% of all abuse cases
  • Stabilised gradually to ~ 50%
  • Actual numbers increasing
  • 1979: The Child in Hong Kong: Evaluation Report for International Year of the Child

need law to “reject unequivocally the use of physical

violence as a means of rearing children” (Maria Tam)

  • 1990: banned corporal punishment in penal system
  • 1991: banned corporal punishment in schools
slide18
2004: ACA celebrating SpankOut Day
  • 2005: ACA – Declaration against Violence towards Children
    • Signed by Director of Social Welfare on behalf of the government but reservation on banning corporal punishment at home by law
  • 2006: child died in suitcase in the name of corporal punishment
  • Fresh calls to ban corporal punishment
    • Joint study with Save the Children Sweden
    • Visits by Peter Newell, Joan Durrant
  • No specific legislation on banning corporal punishment yet
recognition of child sexual abuse
Recognition of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Few reports prior to the 1990’s
  • 1993 - Failed conviction of sexual abuse of a mentally handicapped woman for technical reasons
  • Legislative Amendments
    • 1995: Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Amendment) Bills
      • Child < 14 yrs can give unsworn evidence
      • Corroboration of a young child’s unsworn evidence not required
      • Video recorded interview used as evidence in court
      • Child < 7 yrs can give evidence in court
      • Testify in court via television link
    • 1996: Witness support programme
modification of procedures for handling child abuse cases
Modification of Proceduresfor handling child abuse cases
  • For Child Sexual Abuse
    • Reports to either
      • SWD: Family and Child Protective Services Unit
      • Police: Child Abuse Investigation Unit
    • Strategic planning
    • Joint investigation
    • Video recorded interview
    • Medical Coordinators on Child Sexual Abuse (renamed Medical Coordinators on Child Abuse)
slide22
Periodic reports on local paedophiles and child sex tourism
  • 1996 started discussions about law against child pornography
  • 2003 Prevention of Child Pornography Bill
    • Production, possession
    • Visual depiction – photograph or computer generated
    • Sex tourism
slide23
Variable sentencing
    • Maximum fine $2 million and 8 years jail sentence
    • Actual sentencing
      • Possession of 1,150 images, 245 video files – 6 months suspended sentence, $20,000 fine
      • Possession of 8,300 photos, 205 video files – 200 hours of community service
  • 2008 Court of Appeal Sentencing Guideline
    • Automatic jail sentence with rare exceptions
paedophilia hk a haven
Paedophilia – HK a Haven?

“Gary Glitter dreams of freedom and a home in Hong Kong”(South China Morning Post 28 Jan 2008)

  • “Disgraced former pop star Gary Glitter may be released early from his prison term in Vietnam after suffering a suspected heart attack - and the convicted paedophile is considering starting a new life in Hong Kong.”
  • “Observers point out that Hong Kong has two particularly appealing elements for a paedophile with a weak heart: world-class public hospitals and no sex offenders' register to track his movements.”
  • Comment from Glitter: “It's a big city where I can go around without being noticed. But I’ll be able to get English food there.”
slide25
2002 - involvement of clergy, tutors

- reports of repeat sex offenders

  • 2008 Consultation on Sex Offender Registry
    • Voluntary system of checking by employer with consent of employee in work situations involving children, mentally incapacitated persons
    • Logistics will be worked out in 2011
child neglect
Child Neglect
  • ~3 - 6% of cases till 2005
  • Increased to 12% in 2007
  • mid-1980’s: ACA advocating on issue of unattended children
  • end-1980’s: 30 children / year dying while being left unattended at home
slide29
1991: Government consultation paper: “Measures to Prevent Children from Being Left Unattended at Home”
    • Education
    • Support
    • Legislation
  • Occasional Child Care Centres
  • 1997: Child Care Centres (Amendment) Bill
    • Facilitate mutual help childcare groups (< 5 children)
    • Certain categories of unsuitable persons prohibited as childminders (self-application of certificate – not a prohibited person)
slide30
2005-2007 child neglect involving children left unattended at home

police involved on 49 occasions

    • 1 death falling from height
    • 5 smoke inhalation
    • 3 injured with falls at home
slide31
Government recommendation
    • Education
    • Support: Promote extended hours childcare services
      • Pilot of Neighbourhood mutual help childcare
    • No specific legislation required against leaving children unattended
psychological abuse
Psychological Abuse
  • ~ 2% of child abuse cases
  • 1986: Kwok Ah Nui incident
    • Child kept at home from school by emotionally disturbed mother
  • 1993: Protection of Children and Juvenile Ordinance
    • Assessment Order: intervene when psychological abuse suspected without child removed from home
    • Hospital as Place of Refuge
child fatality review
Child Fatality Review
  • Pilot scheme started in 2008 (under SWD)
    • Deaths in the previous 2 years (2006-7)
    • Completed all legal proceedings
    • Voluntary submission of information
    • Voluntary response to recommendations of panel
first report 2010
First Report (2010)
  • Deaths in 2006
    • 107 children reported to coroner’s court with legal proceedings completed
      • 61 natural
      • 46 non-natural
        • 20 accidents including 11 traffic accidents and

5 fell from height (3 unattended)

        • 14 suicide (13 fell from height)
        • 12 others
          • 4 assault (3 by parents)
          • 2 Medical complications
          • 6 unknown

http://www.swd.gov.hk/doc/whatsnew/201001/PPCFR1R.pdf

strengths of the child protection system
Strengths of the Child Protection System
  • Multidisciplinary approach
    • Procedures with role delineation
    • Joint training
    • Regular communication
  • Choice of government and non-government service
  • Child Protection Registry / Electronic patient record system
  • Minimal cost to user
challenges
Challenges
  • Defining abuse
  • Complexity and workload
    • Recruitment and retention of experienced workers - police and social work units’ policy of staff rotation
  • Availability of alternative placements
  • Changing social needs
ongoing concerns emerging issues
Ongoing Concerns & Emerging Issues
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • Mandatory Treatment
  • Child Fatality / Serious Case Review
  • Clear prohibition of physical violence towards children
  • Clear prohibition against children left unattended
    • Repeat sex offenders - Lack of mandatory background check of workers in child-related professions
  • Juvenile Sex Offenders
  • Cybersafety
  • Data collection
  • Research on outcomes of intervention
prevention
Prevention

上醫 Before

中醫 To be

下醫 After

(Huangdi Neijing

“Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” )

prevention1
Prevention
  • Child Protection Registry
    • Cases registered after multidisciplinary case conferences
    • 0.6/1,000children <18 years (2005)
  • ~ 1% of cases received professional attention

Study on Child Abuse and Spouse Battering: Report on findings of Household Survey, Chan KL, University of HK 2005

www.swd.gov.hk/doc/family/Report%20on%20findings%20of%20Household%20Survey.pdf

other preventive efforts
Other Preventive Efforts
  • Family Life Education
  • Maternal and Child Health Centres
    • Parenting Education
    • Triple P

Child Health Services in Hong Kong. Ip FLY

HKJ Paediatr (new series) 2008.13:180-182

Reasons for dropout:

conflicting working hours

existing family problems

lack of childcare

personal stress

  • Comprehensive Child Development Service 2006

Reaching the hard to reach

enabling parents to be parents
Enabling Parents to be Parents
  • CRC Article 18...
    • State Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities...
slide43
Employment
    • Unemployment rate: 4.3%
    • Under employment rate: 2%
  • Minimum wage
    • To be HKD28 (USD 3.60)/hr (May 2011)
    • 300,000 currently below this minimum
  • Long working hours
    • > 60 hrs: 700,000 people (1 in 5 of employed)
  • “5-day week / 7-day service”
  • Widening income gap
    • Gini Coefficient: 0.533 (2006)
child empowerment
Child Empowerment

Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights 1995

  • 1995 Youth Conference on Children’s Rights

2004

a child led organization
A Child-led Organization

Kids’ Dream

2003

Kids Dream

child protection web platform
Child Protection Web Platform
  • Launched Jan 2011
  • Objectives
    • Children’s Rights
    • Child safety: Home, outdoor, body, online
    • Stop child abuse
    • Children’s Voice

http://acachild.asia/web/main.html?lang=en

hong kong s development in child protection
Hong Kong’s Development in Child Protection

Reactive

  • Incident driven
  • Service development
  • Legislative changes

Proactive

Strengthening Rights of the Child

  • Child Policy
  • Child Commission
  • Child Ordinance

Reference

  • Ip PLS. Child protection system in Hong Kong. Int J Child Health and Human Dev 2009;2:349-56.
child protection in mainland china
Child Protection in Mainland China

People’s Republic of ChinaCombined 3rd / 4th Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Child Policy
  • Child Commission
  • Child Ordinance

http://big5.fmprc.gov.cn/gate/big5/www.fmprc.gov.cn/chn/gxh/zlb/tyfg/t738182.htm

slide51

National Plan of Action

    • Child Development Agenda (every 10 years)
      • Data Collection and Analysis
      • Monitoring of achievement of targets
  • Committee for Women and Children
  • Legislation
    • Human rights, education, child labour, legal aid, juvenile justice, entertainment centres, cyberspace
    • Protection of Minors Ordinance (2007)
      • Right to Survival, Development, Protection, Participation
child protection
Child Protection
  • Protection of Minors Ordinance
    • Prohibit family violence
    • Prohibit corporal punishment, degrading treatment in schools
  • Right to Legal Aid
  • Protection of Minors Professional Associations
  • Hotlines
    • Youth organisation: counselling and legal information
    • Child emergency hotline (Xi’an, Shaanxi)
  • Domestic Violence
    • Hotlines for reports
    • Assessment centres
child abuse prevention aid center
Child Abuse Prevention & Aid Center
  • 2006 – Xi’an, Shaanxi
    • Medical Treatment
    • Psychological service for abused children and family
    • Social worker follow-up through phone and home visits
slide54

Family Life Education

    • All-China Women’s Federation
  • Child self protection
    • Schools
country reports
Country Reports
  • Have / Have not
  • Numbers / Coverage
  • Accessibility
  • Quality
  • Implementation & monitoring
    • How / Effectiveness
mainland china 2008
Mainland China (2008)

Vast country Varied conditions

  • Provinces, autonomous regions,

municipalities: 31

  • Population: 1.3 billion
  • Childhood population: 0.3 billion (23%)
  • Infant mortality: 14.9% (2000: 32.2%)
  • Under-5 mortality: 18.5% (2000: 39.7%)
    • West inland 2X that of East coastal regions
  • Migrant children (from rural

areas with parents working in cities) 27 million

slide57

Defining child abuse

  • Recognition
  • Investigation
  • Management
    • Social work
    • Health (for 0.3 billion children)
      • 69 children hospitals (2007)
      • 6,273 hospitals with children’s department (2007)
      • Financing
    • Legal support and law enforcement
      • 2002-2008: crimes on abuse and abandonment
      • Sentencing 902 cases involving 915 perpetrators

(victims include adults)

hong kong and mainland china
Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Deng Xiaoping 1982
    • One country Two systems
    • 50 years no change
  • Change is inevitable
    • CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Agreement)
    • Visitors from mainland to HK each day (~60,000)
    • Births in HK (2009)
      • 82,906
      • One parent mainland resident: 6,213 (7%)
      • Both parents mainland residents: 29,766 (36%)