Child Protection around the World – A Global Perspective Far East: Focus on Hong Kong and Mainland China - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Child Protection Systemand its evolution in Hong Kong

  5. Developing a child protection system WHO / ISPCAN (2006) www.ispcan.org

  6. 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/

  7. Reports of Suspected Child Abuse

  8. Management • Investigation • Social • Medical • Police Individual unit and in collaboration

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Evolution of Child Protection SystemRecognition of Child Abuse in HK

  12. New Child Abuse CasesChild Protection Registry . http://www.swd.gov.hk/vs/english/stat.html

  13. Forms of AbuseChild Protection Registry

  14. Physical AbuseChild Protection Registry

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Child Sexual AbuseChild Protection Registry

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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.”

  23. 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

  24. Child NeglectChild Protection Registry

  25. 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

  26. 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)

  27. 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

  28. Government recommendation • Education • Support: Promote extended hours childcare services • Pilot of Neighbourhood mutual help childcare • No specific legislation required against leaving children unattended

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. Prevention 上醫 Before 中醫 To be 下醫 After (Huangdi Neijing “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” )

  36. 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

  37. Social Welfare - One Stop ServiceIntegrated Family Service Centres

  38. 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

  39. 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...

  40. 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)

  41. Child Empowerment Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights 1995 • 1995 Youth Conference on Children’s Rights 2004

  42. A Child-led Organization Kids’ Dream 2003 Kids Dream

  43. Legislative Council Candidate Forum

  44. 17th ISPCAN Congress Pre-Congress Workshop

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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