People all over Australia observe National Child Protection Week (N.C.P.W.) each September as part of a nationwide initiative to protect children from abuse and neglect. This year, it takes place from September 5 to 11. In many parts of the country, child safety is still a pressing issue as many low-income communities can be vulnerable to social issues that can put children at risk. This weekly commemoration is part of the collective effort of the government and society to uphold children’s safety and wellbeing.
History of National Child Protection Week
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) has been running the N.C.P.W. campaign in coordination with the police and child protection advocacy groups over the past 30 years in Australia. Similar programs are also observed in other countries like New Zealand and South Africa. The goal of this initiative is to raise awareness of child abuse and help prevent it. In the past few centuries, child neglect and exploitation have been recognized as grave societal concerns.
There have been research reports on cases of child abuse perpetrated by teachers and employers way back in the 1800s. Although more attention is dedicated to this issue nowadays, it still continues to affect societies around the world. During the 1960s, several studies were conducted on the behavior and bodily harm exhibited by abused children. This became one of the earliest examples of academic interest in this issue.
As of the 1970s, studies on child abuse have become a specialized academic field and garnered much attention. Child protection laws have developed as part of an international legal framework. These laws are now set to protect children from maltreatment as well as discrimination as their effects are now widely studied.
National Child Protection Week timeline
The League of Nations adopts the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, one of the earliest documents to grant children specific rights.
The United Nations’ declaration includes Article 25, which recognizes the specific rights of children.
The first international consensus granting children specific rights is adopted by the U.N.
The U.N’s convention creates a legally-binding document for the rights of children regardless of their race or origin.
National Child Protection Week FAQs
Which country has the most child abuse cases?
Niger is largely considered the most dangerous country for children, with many cases each year. However many sub-Saharan countries have shown significant progress in the past few years.
What is the largest child protection association?
EPCAT is largely considered the world’s largest child protection association with a network of over 100 member organizations in over 90 countries.
How many children are abused each year?
According to several statistics, there are around 700,000 child abuse cases recorded each year in several countries.
How to Observe National Child Protection Week
Join in the efforts
As child abuse is an urgent social issue in many parts of the world, the most important thing to do is to contribute to relevant associations in your area. You’d be surprised at how much we can do to help, especially with our communities.
Read about the issue
Child abuse and child protection constitute a diverse subject with many implications. To make a positive impact, it is important to thoroughly understand the issue.
Take the initiative
N.C.P.W. aims to raise awareness on the issue of child abuse, and help victims. There are various ways we can do this by getting involved in our communities and advocating for policies that safeguard children.
5 Facts About Child Abuse
Child abuse kills
It is estimated that five children die every as a result of child abuse.
The perpetrators are known by their victim
Statistically 90% of child abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.
Child abuse and criminal behavior
Abused children are 10 times more likely to adopt criminal behavior as adults.
Most common form
Among the various forms of child abuse, neglect is the most common.
It is estimated that most child abuse cases go unreported.
Why National Child Protection Week is Important
Child abuse is still an urgent issue
Although many efforts are underway and several advances have been made on the legal side of this issue, many children end up as child abuse victims every year. It is important to shed a light on child abuse to curb this statistic.
Child abuse affects behavior
There is a direct correlation between abuse in childhood and specific characteristics and behaviors in adulthood. Child abuse can potentially destroy a child’s life if left untreated. Preventing child abuse would go a long way in building a healthy community.
Children are particularly vulnerable to abuse
Since children are dependent on adults for most of their needs, this can leave them exposed to dangerous situations. Moreover, often child abuse victims are hesitant to speak out fearing retaliation from their perpetrators.
National Child Protection Week dates