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Patricia Ip

Hong Kong


Child Protection from Violence

2011.6.28(26) PIp

Zero Tolerance of Violence

2


Violence

Includes

Physical, sexual, psychological violence

Neglect

Witnessing of domestic violence

UN Study on Violence Against Children 2006

http://daccess‐dds‐

ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/491/05/PDF/N0649105.pdf?OpenEl

ement

2011.6.28(26) PIp

3


Declaration Against Violence

Towards Children


Government Response

2011.6.28(26) PIp

Education Legislation

X

4


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Protection from

all forms of abuse

and neglect

Administrative

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

2011.6.28(26) PIp

Legislative

Article 19

Education

Social

Measures

5


Recognition of

Child Abuse & Neglect in HK

1979 International Year of the Child

Against Child Abuse (ACA)

1981: Procedures for Handling Child Abuse cases

1983: Working Group / Committee on Child Abuse

Child Protective Services Unit

1986: Child Protection Registry

2011.6.28(26) PIp

6


Late 1980’s:

Child deaths while unattended

1991 ACA:

Concern Group on Children Left Unattended

1992 Renamed HK Committee on Children’s Rights

(HKCCR)

1995 HKCCR – independent organisation

2011.6.28(26) PIp

7


Convention on the Rights of the Child

(CRC) & Hong Kong

1994: Ratification extended to HK

1996: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

(UNCRC) hearing on Initial Report from HK

HKCCR: alternate report to UNCRC

2011.6.28(26) PIp

Child Commission

Child Policy

Child Ordinance

8


UNCRC Concluding Observations

1996

On Initial Report from HK government

“the Convention requires that priority be given to

children's issues, particularly in the light of the principle

of the ‘best interests of the child’ and of the fact that

Governments have, in international forums, agreed to

the principle of ‘First call for children’ ”

“recommends the establishment of an independent

mechanism specifically to monitor the implementation

of government policy in relation to the rights of the

child.”

http://www.unhchr.ch/TBS/doc.nsf/0/f2b9c21c3e8badc7c12563f000323553?O

penDocument

2011.6.28(26) PIp

9


UNCRC Concluding Observations

2005

On First Report from HKSAR

“establish… a national human rights institutions which

includes a clear mandate for the monitoring of children’s

rights and the implementation of the Convention at national,

regional and local levels and in accordance with the

Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The

Paris Principles)…”

“… such institutions should have a mandate to receive,

investigate and address complaints from the public, including

individual children, and be provided with adequate financial,

human and material resources. “

“In the case of Hong Kong SAR, such an institution could be a

specialized branch of the existing Ombudsman’s office. “

http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/04186f9dc54bc

087c12570ec004ef94a/$FILE/G0545139.pdf

2011.6.28(26) PIp

10


Response of Government of HKSAR

“The best interests of the child are necessary

considerations in all relevant decision‐making in

Hong Kong, including legislative proposals and

policies, and are taken into account as a matter of

course”

X new arrangement for “assessment of impact of

policy proposals on children”

X “comprehensive Plan of Action for the

implementation of the Convention”

2011.6.28(26) PIp

11


“The Convention covers areas of government that are

the responsibility of several different policy bureaux…

Advisory boards and committees and NGOs assist

those bureaux in the planning and decision‐making

process…”

“arrangements are conducive to flexibility …”

“Unconvinced … there should be… a Children

Commission”

Initial Report of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the

Convention on the Rights of the Child: Response to the Concluding

Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child 2006

http://www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/child_forum_20060329paper.htm

2011.6.28(26) PIp

12


Alliance for Children Commission

2007

Call from 24 agencies and professional groups to

establish a Children Commission in HK

2011.6.28(26) PIp

13


Motion Debate in

Legislative Council 6 June 2007

Establishment of a Commission on Children

Unanimous vote of support

Unfortunately, it was one of the

“Motions not intended to have legislative effect”

2011.6.28(26) PIp

14


General Comments (GC) 13 of CRC

Reiterated support for independent human rights

institutions

Article 19: Child abuse and neglect

Other articles on economic, sexual exploitation, trafficking,

torture, armed conflict, juvenile justice

Important Principle of Child Rights Approach

Article 2: Non‐discrimination

Article 3: Best interests of the child

Article 6: Life, survival and development

Article 12: Right to be heard

Article 4: Appropriate measures (in whatever

economic circumstances)

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/comments.htm

2011.6.28(26) PIp

15


GC 13

Other relevant Articles

Article 5: Direction and guidance consistent with

evolving capacities (primacy of the family and

responsibility of carers)

Article 9: Separation from parents

Article 18: Responsibilities of both parents;

appropriate assistance to perform child‐rearing

responsibilities

Article 27: Standard of living

2011.6.28(26) PIp

16


Complexity of Child Protection

Corporal Punishment

Child left unattended

Sex offences record check

Age of criminal responsibility

2011.6.28(26) PIp

17


“Problems” of Children and

Adolescents

Bullying in / out of school

Drug Abuse

Compensated Dating

2011.6.28(26) PIp

18


Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect

Early

Death

Disease,

Disability and

Social Problems

Adoption of

Health‐risk Behaviors

Adapted from CDC Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

http://www.cdc.gov/ace/pyramid.htm

2011.6.28(26) PIp

Social, Emotional, Cognitive

Impairment

Adverse Childhood Experiences

19


1990 Commission on Youth

1997 Elderly Commission

2001 Women’s Commission

2011.6.28(26) PIp

20


Family Council

2007

Advisory on “Family” matters

“rationalize the work of the Elderly Commission, the

Women's Commission and the Commission on Youth”

2008

Noted request by Alliance for Children Commission to meet

with Family Council but Council took no action

“Taking into account the sentiments and strong wish of the

stakeholders” recommended functional integration between

Family Council and the 3 Commissions, i.e.

the 3 Commissions will remain

X Children Commission as this would be “against our

intention to put family related commissions under the roof of

Family Council”

http://www.familycouncil.gov.hk/english/home/home_meeting.htm 21

2011.6.28(26) PIp


Functions of Children Commission

1. Advocate and influence policies

Existing policies

Child impact studies

Monitor and implement CRC

2. Research and analyse

3. Co‐ordinate, communicate, cooperate

4. Educate and promote

5. Conduct enquiries

6. Speak for children

Alliance for Children Commission

General Comment No.2

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/comments.htm

2011.6.28(26) PIp

22


Global Child Commissioners /

Ombudsman /

Children’s rights institutions

European Network of Ombudspersons for Children

ENOC (www.ombudsnet.org)

32 members

Independent children’s rights institutions in other

regions (http://crin.org/enoc/network/index.asp )

Latin America and Caribbean 17

North America 3

Oceania

Australia 8

New Zealand 1

2011.6.28(26) PIp

23


Child Protection beyond Rhetoric

2011.6.28(26) PIp

“No violence against children is

justifiable;

all violence against children is

preventable”

UN Study on Violence against Children 2006

24


Child Commission

with Child Rights Approach in

Child Protection

X Child as victim

√ Child as rights‐bearing individual

Respecting and promoting the human dignity and

physical and psychological integrity of children

Right to be heard and have views given due weight

Best interest as a primary consideration

2011.6.28(26) PIp

25


2011.6.28(26) PIp

“First Call for Children”

Non Discrimination

For a child,

“His name is ‘Today’ ”

Gabriela Mistral

26

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