Discuss about the Australian Child Protection Legislation.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an agreement, which is legally binding on the member countries of the United Nations. The United Nations enumerates a list of duties and responsibilities towards the member countries to safeguard the rights and freedom of the children.
- The treaty enumerates the political, economic, health, social as well as the cultural rights of the children. The respective member countries of the United Nations also have their own policies, which are in accordance with the ethos of the UNCRC treaty.
- The implementation of these policies can be improved further by aligning the UNCRC with the policies of the Government of the countries wherein they are operating. The Government can oversee the implementation of these policies and report discrepancy if found.
- The children can also be encouraged to participate in activities wherein they are required to take decisions and judgments. Doing this will make the children more aware about the importance of decision-making and therefore, will facilitate in creating more aware and informed citizens out of them in the long run. The children must be taught about the importance of being proactive and to actively participate in the daily activities.
- The trauma is an extremely painful situation experienced by a person.
- The trauma can be caused by either a physical injury or a psychological experience.
- The trauma can progress into depression for the person afflicted with trauma.
- Depression in return can make the person suicidal as well.
- Trauma continues for a long time even after the physical or emotional situation, which caused the trauma, is over.
- The person develops extreme conditions of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem due to the trauma.
- There are numerous Trauma Care Centres, which assists the people suffering from trauma to overcome the pain and suffering. The trauma care center provides relief and support to the persons who have undergone traumatic experience.
- The legal system of Australia firmly deals with the issue of child abuse and child rights. There are numerous laws and legislations, which are in force to assist the authorities to implement and protect the interest of the child.
- Australia, being a signatory of the UNCRC act and its rules and regulations are binding in on the nation of Australia. Australia has also included the aspects of the convention in the Child Protection Legislation to align the aspects of the international agreement into the national framework.
- The Child Protection Protocol is a set of duties and responsibilities to be followed to protect and safeguard the well-being of the children.
- The protocol provides online training to the staff members regarding the procedure of reporting a crime.
- Any incidence or occurrence of sexual offences is reported to the Victorian Police.
- There has been an introduction of three new criminal offences in order to improve the responses regarding sexual abuse of the child.
- The organisational policies, which deter the reporting of crimes, include the fear of being harassed by the authorities.
- The parents of the victim of child abuse sometimes might feel that the disclosure of the incident of child abuse might throw them in an embarrassing situation, more so if the perpetrator of the crime is a member of the family. In such situation, due to the fear of disclosure of facts, the families or the individuals who do not want to disclose their privacy deter from reporting the crime.
- Australia has a well-established framework to deal with the issue of child abuse. There are various departments, which work towards the implementation of the policies to safeguard children from abuse.
- If the people notice any untoward incident then it can be reported to a number of departments. The most preferred agency is the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
- There are other agencies, which can assist in the incident of child abuse. These agencies are- the Child Safety After-Hours Service Centre as well as the Queensland Police Service. The Reporting Process is done by the Government agencies, which are entrusted with the task of investigating the crime. The assigned Departments investigate the case and then decides whether the information received is true or not.
- The people who seek to work for the improvement and welfare of the child need to be aware about the issues affecting the child.
- The child protection activist is required to actively participate in any event where the issue of child rights and discrimination against children are highlighted. The most important priority of the activists is to spread awareness about the issue of child abuse and how it can harm the society.
- The people working in the Trauma Care Center provide the victims of child abuse every type of relief and assistance.
- The most important requirement of the activist or the people employed in Trauma Care Centre is to be extremely friendly with the children.
- The people willing to work in the areas of child rights must be comfortable while dealing with children, some of whom might be extremely traumatized and violent in behaviour.
- The job requirement is that the person dealing with Child Rights should be calm and composed.
- The Agencies which are involved in securing the rights of the children and providing justice to the victims of child abuse must make sure that the details of the victim remain confidential at all times.
- The privacy of the victim must be respected at all times. The Trauma Care Centers also must make sure that the victim’s privacy is maintained and the personal information are kept confidential.
- The workers working for the welfare of the children need to be patient while dealing with the children and must always speak in a comforting tone so as to make the child feel at ease with the person.
- The general indicators of child abuse can be of different types such as the victim not being able to trust the adults, behaving aggressively, suffering from sleep deprivation, having complexities while relating to the adults and children of their age, having suicidal tendencies, telling stories or drawing the pictures, which depict their abuse or ordeal.
- The indicators of physical abuse are seen when the victim shows symptoms of fracture or scars.
- The child generally avoids physical contact after undergoing the trauma of physical abuse and is in a frightened state.
- The child also shows signs of bruises and cut marks. The indicators of sexual abuse involve the child giving hints about the ordeal through the actions or comments.
- The indicators of sexual abuse are noticed when child shows symptoms of bruises, bleeding, cut marks in and around the private parts.
- The child develops restrained behaviour and does not mix with the other children of their age.
- The child is generally frightened of the adult members and avoids being in the company of the adult members. The child generally avoids being in a social setting and keeps to themselves most of the time. The overall indicators of abuse match with each other and there are minimum differences amongst the indicators.
- The different dynamics of abuse can be the intention behind the abuse. The dynamics of abuse can be applied in the following types-
- The most important factor, which makes the children vulnerable and soft target is due to their age. The children being in the care of the parents or the guardians are not in a position to take care of themselves. It is for this reason that the perpetrators of the crime exploit the children and most often, it is seen that a known person commits the crime.
- The Disability of the Child
- The children with disability are most likely to be abused in some form or the other because of their physical impairment.
- The assistants or even the family members can indulge in abusive behaviour towards the disabled people and often it is seen that the disabled children have extreme difficulty in explaining their ordeal to other people.
- The bitter experience of abuse traumatizes the children to a great extent.
- The children are prone to some form of abuse or the other, and the girls in particular, are more susceptible to abuse. The majority of the victims of abuse are women and the elder males mainly commit the crime.
Australian Child Protection Legislation (2018) Child Family Community Australia https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/australian-child-protection-legislation
Child Protection 'Crisis Worsening' As Concerns Of Abuse And Neglect Continue To Rise (2018) ABC News https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-16/child-abuse-concerns-highlighted-in-aihw-report/8359114
Child Protection Protocol (2018) Education.vic.gov.au <https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/providers/regulation/Pages/protectionprotocol.aspx#link43>
Davidson, Helen and Melissa Davey, Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission Delivers Final Report – As It Happened (2018) the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2017/dec/15/child-sexual-abuse-royal-commission-delivers-final-report-live
Department Of Communities, Child Safety And Disability Services (Queensland Government) (2018) Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Queensland Government) https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/
Media Coverage Of Traumatic Events: Research On Effects - PTSD: National Center For PTSD (2018) Ptsd.va.gov <https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/trauma/basics/media-coverage-traumatic-events.asp>
Risk And Protective Factors For Child Abuse And Neglect (2018) Child Family Community Australia https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/risk-and-protective-factors-child-abuse-and-neglect
UN Convention On The Rights Of The Child (UNCRC) - Unicef UK (2018) Unicef UK https://www.unicef.org.uk/what-we-do/un-convention-child-rights/
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