THE recent cases of alleged child abuse or neglect committed by childcare providers or babysitters are deeply disturbing and alarming.
The extreme cruelty and indifference displayed towards children in these cases should serve as a painful lesson for society as a whole, igniting a sense of urgency and gravity among caregivers.
While the state bears the responsibility to protect children’s rights, such protection cannot be guaranteed without parents and guardians remaining vigilant in fulfilling their own responsibilities towards their children and ensuring their needs are met.
It is crucial for parents and guardians to be aware of the competence of the caregivers entrusted with their children’s care as these individuals have direct contact and responsibility for their well-being.
The onus lies on parents or guardians to equip themselves with knowledge when seeking out childcare centres/providers that meet the legal requirements and are regulated by the Social Welfare Department.
The Children’s Commissioner (CC) urges the community to actively support government agencies by reporting unlicensed or unregistered childcare centres to the Social Welfare Department.
Additionally, the community should recognise its collective responsibility and the impact of its actions in assisting efforts to combat child abuse incidents within the expanding care system.
The CC also emphasises the importance of raising awareness among mature children about various issues that directly or indirectly affect them.
The knowledge and information about children’s rights should be effectively disseminated according to their age, enabling them to understand not only their own safety but also that of their peers.
This awareness will empower children to inform parents or guardians about any instances of child abuse they experience or witness.
Dr Farah Nini Dusuki