Israel: New report highlights child abuse risks
|Publisher||Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)|
|Publication Date||12 February 2009|
|Cite as||Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Israel: New report highlights child abuse risks, 12 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4999265dc.html [accessed 23 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
TEL AVIV, 12 February 2009 (IRIN) - Israel's National Council for the Child (NCC) published a report on 8 February in which it said 309,141 children had been described by social services as being at risk of abuse.
In most cases the main risk factors were to be found in the family environment. At-risk children faced threats, hunger, beatings, and lack of education and medical care. Some were taken out of their homes and placed in foster care or boarding schools but most were unable to get the help they needed and remained in abusive family settings, the report said.
The families of at-risk children often have financial problems, dysfunctional parents, elderly parents or they are recent immigrants - some without a regularised status.
The report said some 2,000 children were hospitalised in 2008 due to physical and/or sexual abuse in the family.
Yitzhak Kadman, NCC founder and director, told IRIN child abuse had become more visible over the past few years due in part to better reporting: [There was] "an increased awareness among neighbours, social workers and doctors to signs of abuse in children and their willingness to report these cases as opposed to years past".
One prominent recent case was that of an autistic nine-year-old child who was sexually abused by his uncle for six years.
A social worker in one of Israel's main cities told IRIN on condition of anonymity: "We have seen more and more abuse in recent years. I do not understand where this is coming from. Since the Rose Peizam case we try to be on alert but I fear we are still missing out on many children.''
Some 2,408,400 children lived in Israel in 2007; 33.2 percent of the population are under 18.