LawsProtecting Child Abuse
What is child abuse? Its definition and characteristics-
Childabuse is the maltreatment or neglect of a child. It includesemotional and physical torture of children.
Who are the main players of child abuse
Caregiversand parents are the main players in child abuse
Why laws are implemented against child abuse
Lawsare implemented to ensure that every child is treated fairly in asafe environment.
The people mostly affected by child abuse
Caregivers,parents, teachers, and all people that have an attachment to a childare affected by child abuse laws.
Characteristics of child abuse laws-
Violationof child abuse laws is punishable
Childabuse laws should be obeyed at all levels. Every child is entitled toa safe environment.
Childabuse refers to the maltreatment or neglect of a child includingphysical abuse, psychological torture, and emotional labour as wellas sexual abuse. It is a worldwide problem affecting all thecommunities today. It is so expansive that one agency, community orindividual have no capability of influence or resources to curb thisproblem. Preventing child abuse is the responsibility of each andevery individual in the society. Children are helpless human beingswho require care and attention from their parents and caregivers.This is why many laws and regulations relating to child abuse havebeen formulated to protect children and enhance the quality of theirlives. Child abuse is any activity that puts the child into danger. “Every child has the basic human right to safety” (Anon 1). Assuch, the laws on child abuse seek to protect the rights of a child.
Childabuse has been on the increase in the recent past facilitated by theimprovement and development of the technology. Many countries havereported increase in child abuse and child neglect. The increasethus, has stimulated the formation of bodies that will fight forchildren welfare. Many organisations have been formed to enhance thefight against child abuse so far. It cuts across different strata’sof life. This requires multi- disciplinary action to be taken incurbing the child abuse in our societies. Many laws have beenformulated for protecting children against abuse. According to Park(843), “forty-nine States have enacted anti-bullying legislation inone form or another in the United States.” The laws are bothformulated for the local scene such as states and country as well asfor the international scenes that cut across jurisdiction borders.The laws that protects the children are based both to punish thechildren caretaker against failing to take responsibility as well asthose who abuse the child. “In many jurisdictions, failure toprotect one`s child from violence makes a parent criminally liable ifthe omission is voluntary” (Midson 297).
Childabuse law provide rules and regulations for holding people who in oneway or other harm children. All countries have statutory lawsoutlining programmes of protective services for children. Thisincludes the abused, neglected and those who have normal life intheir families. In most countries, the child abuse protection lawsare encompassed by the child abuse prevention and treatment act aswell the adaption assistance and child welfare. However, these lawsdiffer in various jurisdictions. “Child abuse cases, usually, haveunique characteristics that make it challenging to investigate andbring to book the culprits” (Midson 299). To ensure all theculprits are brought to book, the formulations of the laws should bestructured appropriately. All the possible ways in which child abusecan take place are put into consideration.
Thechildren protection laws are mainly focused to the people who haveresponsibility over the child. This includes the guardians, teachers,parents, caretakers among others. The irresponsibility of children’s’care takers leads to child abuse thus, the main focus of child abuseprotection laws is for prevention purpose. The laws are also meant togive directions concerning matters of child abuse and neglect. “Animportant aspect of due process law is that there is often a dueprocess clause in the state constitution working alongside the DueProcess Clause of the Federal Constitution” (Dennison 665.). Itsmain aim is to ensure the child is same and all his/ hers rights arepreserved. In international law of child right, there are outlinednumbers of things that a child is entitled to. This includes theright to survival, to develop, to the fullest growth to protectionfrom harmful influences, abuse and exploitation, cultural and sociallife, and to participate fully in family. There are other necessitiesthat a child requires too such as a friendly environment and to acertain extent some freedom. There are four core principles of theinternational convention. These are the right to life devotion tothe best interests of the child non-discrimination respect for theviews of the child and survival and development. Child protectionlaws are formulated for all the areas of the child life. The laws aremeant to ensure that the wellbeing of the child is taken care of. Thearea of concern of child abuse is not limited to physical abuse butalso psychological and emotional aspects. The area covered by theprotection law includes labour, child sexual harassment, hometreatment, foster home care as well as activities or failure that canlead to the child being in danger. Going against child laws leads topersecution and charges in court of law.
Eventhough there are international laws for protecting children againstabuse, most of the cases are undertaken at state or federal level.This is because in state and in the country there are set frameworkfor easy enforcement of the laws. It is only when the crime that isacross jurisdiction border that involves international lawenforcement. The activities that can lead to this include internetpornography, children trafficking and children army.
Thechild laws have been evolving with the change of human societies andthe technological advances. It is evident that the improvements oftechnology have enhanced the rise of new forms of child abuse such asinternet sexual harassment. The law has to be formulated to protectthe children from being exploited. It also means thatthe existinglaws should keep on changing and incorporate how to go about the newforms of child abuse.
Theenforcement of the children protection law is done at differentjurisdictions. This, to some extent, brings up conflicts in theImplementation of international law. The question that pertains whois a child is defined different in different countries. In some, achild is one who has matured and not related to age while in others,a child is one who is less than a particular age. This is a challengeto curbing cross jurisdictional crimes. To overcome this, theinternational statutes put forward have to be put into practice.
Inmany of the jurisdictions, failure of the parent to protect his orchild is termed as a criminal activity. This jurisdiction extends toother people who hold responsibility over the child. These are someof the parts of the child protection laws that helps in ensuringpeople take responsibility as well as the child is well protected.The law follows up the child even after he/she has been taken tofoster homes.
Thechild law can be categorised in very different ways but the mostbasic for the international law. They include the child labourstatutes that are meant to explain the right age one has to beemployed as well as the punishment that is put forward. There is thesexuality abuse law that gives guidance on the matters related to thechild and sex. There are law of child neglected, the parentresponsibilities law among others. “All the categories of theinternational law are interlinked with the others as all have thesame goal of ensuring the children safety” (MOloney et al 6).
Thelaw of children protection are spread out under different maindisciplines. For instance child labour is under labour, some of thelaw are incorporated in the tourist industries while others are inthe health ministries. Due to the wide geographical extent andinterdisciplinary nature of child abuse, tackling of child abuseshould take a multidisciplinary dimension in curbing it. This hasbeen the most used worldwide. The effectiveness of interdisciplinaryapproaches is that in the enforcement and children protection itentails different disciplines .The child law sometimes is usedagainst other laws in protecting the child. For instance there is thelaw use in most country where the parents are entitled to theirchildren. When the parent does not take responsibility of the child,the child law can be enacted to ensure the wellbeing of the child.“As early as 1642, Massachusetts had a law that gave magistratesthe authority to remove children from parents who did not "trainup" their children properly” (Myers, pg 283).
Therehas been a number of documentation for child laws both atinternational and regional level in the past that are all for thepurpose of child protection. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of theChild 1989 is an example of some of the existing children protectionlaw documents. Is a comprehensive and based on the substantiverighted of the child. Other regional document that exists includesthe European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights 1996that elaborated on cross border children protection. These existingkey conventions are the reference points for enhancing of childrenrights as well as source of inspiration for the justiceadministration and raising the international standards and mechanism.
Childrenhave the rights to be protected by their guardians. There are lawsand regulations put forwards for preventing and protecting childrenfrom abuse. The laws are available in local and international levelbut they all serve the same purpose. International laws cut acrossjurisdiction boundary and the source of reference for internationaljustice. The children laws are categorised into different categoriesbased on the type of abused that it is meant to protect or counter.The enforcement of the child abuse statutes are done at federal,state and international level. Cases of child abuse have a uniquecharacteristic thus, the structure of the law enforcement is quitedifferent from other cases. In some instances, laws conflict due todifference in interest occurring in the jurisdiction. In other casesthe state has the power to take the right of some people in order toprotect the child. There are changing trends in the nature of childabuse and so the law of children protection should also take asimilar direction so as to fully protect the children from abuse. Dueto the presence of laws protecting the children, there is less childabuse.
Anon."protecting the abused and neglected child." state childwelfare, 2009.
Dennison,noah. "State constitution law-protecting the people and thestate beyond the constitutional minimums," 2012: 661-681.
Midson,Brenda. "The Helpless protecting the vulnerable DefendingCoerced
MOloney,Lawrie, et al. "allegations of family violence and child abusein family law children proceedings." Published by the AustralianInstitute of Family Studies, 2009: 116- 141.
MothersCharged With Failure To Protect." VUWLR (2014): 297-322.
Myers,John E.B. "A Short History of Child Protection." Family LawQuarterly, 2010: 449-461.
Park,Christopher. "Children and the Duty to Report: The DoubleStandard of Child Abuse and Anti-Bullying Laws." INDIANA LAWREVIEW 47.843, 2014: 833-869.