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Buldan Anista Chuckoury Razia Nauyeck Ja eed "an#anaden $e%edee 0814036 0811852 0813!08 0813!56


Our Team would like to acknowledge the Human Rights Council for their booklet on Governance Profile for Mauritius under CSP !"th #$%&' much of whose material we used in this stud() *dditionall(' the booklet on a guide for +est ,irgina school -ersonnel in and re-orting Child *buse and /eglect& from which we could gather materials for our stud()

More s-ecificall( we would like to thank Mrs) Sreekeessoon *umwatee' who donated her time in our ongoing course 0Child +elfare Services1)


Child Abuse has for a long time been recorded in literature, art and science in many parts of the world. Reports of infanticide, mutilation, abandonment and other forms of violence against children date back to ancient civilizations. The historical record is also filled with reports of unkempt, weak and malnourished children cast out by families to fend for themselves and of children who have been sexually abused. Child Abuse or !altreatment constitutes all forms of physical and"or emotional ill# treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child$s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power%. !any people think that child abuse% is limited to physical harm. &n reality child abuse includes' (hysical Abuse (hysical )eglect *exual Abuse !ental"+motional !altreatment Physical injuries, severe neglect and malnutrition are more readily detectable than the subtle, less visible in,uries which result from emotional maltreatment, or sexual abuse. -owever, all categories of abuse endanger or impair a child$s physical or emotional health and development and therefore, demand attention. !ost people who abuse children are known to the child. -owever, there are instances where children are abused by strangers. SOME INDICATORS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE Children need models more than the( need critics& #lbert Hubbard ues!i"na#le #ruises an$ %el!s& .n face, lips, mouth

.n torso, back, buttocks, thighs, arms &n various stages of healing Clustered, forming regular patterns Reflecting shape of article used to inflict in,uries /electric cord, belt etc0 .n several different surface areas Regular appearing after absence, weekend or vacation -uman bite mark 1ald spots Cigar or cigarette burns, especially on palms, back or buttock &mmersion burns (atterned like electric burner, iron, cigarette lighter etc Rope burns on arms, legs, neck *inged hair To skull, nose, facial structure &n various stages of healing !ultiple or spiral fractures To mouth, lips, gums, eyes To external genitalia

ues!i"na#le #urns&

ues!i"na#le 'rac!ures&

ues!i"na#le lacera!i"ns "r a#rasi"ns&

Physical Ne(lec! is the failure to provide for a child$s physical survival needs to the extent that there is harm or risk of harm to the child$s health or safety. (hysical neglect may include2 Abandonment 3ack of supervision 3ack of ade4uate bathing and good hygiene 3ack of ade4uate nutrition 3ack of ade4uate shelter 3ack of medical or dental care

Se)ual A#use is defined as acts of sexual assaults, and sexual exploitation of minors. *exual abuse encompasses a broad range of behavior and may consist of many acts over a long period of time or a single incident. 5ictims are both boys and girls, and range in the age from less than one year through adolescence. *pecifically sexual abuse includes2 &ncest Rape &ntercourse .ral#genital contact 6ondling *exual propositions or enticement &ndecent exposure Child pornography Child prostitution

The nature of sexual abuse, the shame of the child victim and the possible involvement of trusted parents, step#parents, or other persons in a caregiver role make it extremely difficult to come forward to report abuse. 7ust as physical in,uries can scar and incapacitate a child, e*"!i"nal *al!rea!*en! can similarly cripple a child emotionally, behaviorally, and intellectually. 5arying degrees of emotional and behavioral problems are common among children who have been emotionally abused. +motional maltreatment can include patterns of2 5erbal assaults /screaming, re,ecting, ridiculing, blaming0 &gnoring and indifference Constant family conflict

+motional abuse can be seen as a self#fulfilling prophecy. &f a child is degraded enough, the child will begin to live up to the image communicated by the abusing parent or caregiver. Cases for emotional abuse are extremely difficult to prove. A cause and effect relationship between the parent or caregiver$s act and the child$s

response must be established. These cases should be referred for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

.ther Type of Abuse'

Paren!al Su#s!ance A#use (arental substance abuse is an element of definition of child abuse or neglect in some countries. Circumstances that are considered abuse or neglect are' (renatal exposure of a child to harm due to the mother$s use of illegal drug or other substance !anufacture of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or on the premises occupied by the child Allowing a child to be present where the chemicals or e4uipment for manufacture of controlled substances are used or stored

&n !auritius, we are witnessing an ever increasing number of children being left on their own these days. 6ollowing this trend, it can be concluded that neglect is one of the most appropriate and common circumstance occurring in !auritius. 9pon addressing the problem of neglect, it can be said that this issue is very critical for our country. 6or !auritius it is not a situation of a child being neglected sparsely, but it is rather a situation of neglecting children in some specific areas for e.g. poor areas. ;hat really happens in those areas is that many families shelter themselves in groups to try to live together. They commonly use unauthorized state land as refuge. They originate from poor family backgrounds and come to live in these slums where many basic facilities are lacking. ;ater, electricity, appropriate foods are usually not present. The level of education is usually very low in such places. 6amily planning concept is not mastered at all and contraception methods are usually not understood. Thus the ending result is a high birth rate compared to the average. 6amilies living in such conditions are very fragile. 1oth parents usually work to earn a meager salary

to make ends meet. A child$s financial needs are not that easily met and the task becomes almost impossible with several children. *ince both parents work, they are unable to act as primary educators for their children. +ven if the mother is a housewife she loses control over her children very 4uickly. At times the mothers do not indulge in their role of motherhood for long because of so many social problems. These children prefer to educate themselves in peer groups as a substitution to their parents. All the ills of society are present in such areas such as alcoholism, drugs, crimes and prostitution. The end result is a breeding ground for the marginalized of society. This situation can affect the stability of our country if not dealt in time. Though neglect is the most acute problem in !auritius, this does not mean that the other issues are inexistent. They are all present to some extent. (hysical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, parent substance abuse or abandonment is present as well. !auritius is a source for children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. *econdary school#age girls and, to a lesser extent, younger girls from all areas of the island, including from Rodrigues &sland, are induced into prostitution, often by their peers, family members, or businessmen offering other forms of employment. Taxi drivers are known to provide transportation and introductions for both the girls and the clients. 1oys whose mothers engage in prostitution are reportedly forced into prostitution at a young age. *ome drug#addicted women are forced to engage in prostitution by their boyfriends, who serve as pimps. *exual abuse is common in !auritius. *ometimes these are perpetrated by people unknown to the child. 1ut often the child knows his or her aggressor. &n fact the child$s own surroundings usually commit these acts. Children are also victim of mistreatment. They are battered. This is usually perpetrated by the parents themselves. *ome children have even had burns resulting from cigarette burns, slaps or even punch at times. 9sually physical abuse comes in line with emotional abuse by making the child feel like a worthless person or traumatizing the child with the use of words. Abandonment is another issue which is present in !auritius. &t is rare but it is done. 1ut what is more common in !auritius as concerned with abandonment is the abandonment of new born babies which is more fre4uent.

(arental substance abuse is almost negligible though some women still want to have recourse to dangerous substances during their pregnancy. All types of abuse against children are perpetrated in !auritius but their effect, whether physical or mental will differ depending on the child. 1ut in general can be said that neglect fit in as the most appropriate for our country though the others are present.







;hile the prevention of child abuse is almost universally proclaimed to be an important social policy, there are different strategies that can help provide corrective and healing action to such an issue. -. H"*e /isi!a!i"ns an$ "!her 'a*ily su00"r! 0r"(ra**es& -ome visitation programmes bring community resources to families in their homes. This type of intervention has been identified as one of the most promising for preventing a number of negative outcomes, including youth violence. +. The Chil$ De1el"0*en! Uni! The Child <evelopment 9nit was set up in =>>?. it is the executive arm of the !inistry to intervene in cases of child abuse and neglect. &t is also responsible for the implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to the development, participation, protection and survival of children. Ade4uate *ocial *upport *ystems are also in place to cater for the needs of children in distress. 2. In'"r*a!i"n3 E$uca!i"n Ca*0ai(n

To create public awareness, sensitization and awareness, campaigns targeted towards children are carried out on a regular basis through media2 by way of radio and television programmes. Talks are delivered to school children at (rimary and *econdary levels and to the parents, in regions at risk2 and to the community at large with a view to sensitizing them on the protective needs of children against all forms of harm and abuse. &nformation, +ducation and communication campaigns which are ongoing will be further enhanced in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions about the problems associated with commercial sexual exploitation. 4. Ca0aci!y Buil$in( *ocial workers and other professionals are trained by local consultants with a view to providing better services to victims of C*+C /Commercial *exual +xploitation of Children0. The training programmes are ongoing. !oreover the police in collaboration with the *ocial ;orkers of the !inistry of education an child development unit also redirect children who are cut off from schools to the education system. Child abuse and neglect is a community problem and should be everyone$s concern. (revention is a community responsibility as well. .ne can help to strengthen families who are responsible for the well#being of their children. +very small effort can bring big rewards and will make a difference in the 4uality of life in our community. ;e can therefore2 @et involved Reach out to parents who are under stress. -elp a friend, neighbor or relative who may be struggling with their parenting responsibilities. <evelop good communication with the children in our life -elp ourselves. Recognize the signs that indicate outside help are needed. &f we feel overwhelmed, constantly sad, angry and out of control, get some help *upport local abuse prevention efforts 5ote 3end an encouraging word to a child 1e a positive role model for our children and for other parents 5olunteer our time for a community agency

Report suspected abuse to appropriate local authorities &ncrease public awareness about the problem of child abuse

AN E5AMPLE OF INITIATI/ES TA6EN BY MAURITIUS 7O/ERNMENT The @overnment of !auritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. !auritius sustained its strong efforts to identify, address, and prevent incidences of trafficking during the reporting period. @overnment officials demonstrated an increasing level of awareness of human trafficking and commitment to addressing the problem. (ublic awareness pro,ects, particularly those convened for school students by police officers and the )ational ChildrenAs Council, were fre4uently conducted and broad#reaching. !auritiusA parliament passed a comprehensive human trafficking law in April :BB>. The government made notable efforts to prevent the sex trafficking of children and reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year. &n :BBC, the !inistry of Tourism, 3eisure, and +xternal Communications published and distributed to hotels and tour operators D,BBB pamphlets regarding the responsibility of the tourism sector to combat child sex trafficking. 3aw enforcement and child welfare officials conducted surveillance at bus stops, night clubs, gaming houses, and other places fre4uented by children to identify and interact with students who were at a high risk of sex trafficking. The (olice 6amily (rotection 9nit and the !inorAs 1rigade, in con,unction with the !.;C<As Child <evelopment 9nit, conducted a widespread child abuse awareness campaign at schools and community centers that included a session on the dangers and conse4uences of engaging in prostitution2 this campaign reached over =:,BD? persons in :BBC, including =E? parents, DBB primary school teachers, and D? youth leaders. &n addition, the police provided specific training on avoiding child prostitution to over =BB children in 6lic en 6lac, a tourist destination on the west coast of the island.

Child abuse is a serious global health problem. !uch more can and should be done about this problem. &n many countries there is little recognition of child abuse among

the public. Recognition and awareness, although essential elements for prevention, are only part of the solution. !oreover, prevention efforts and policies must directly address children, their caregivers and the environments in which they live in order to prevent potential abuse from occurring and to deal effectively with cases of abuse and neglect that have taken place.

Anne)& 8@overnment profile for !auritius under C*(# =Bth +<6% B""9le! 8A guide for ;est 5irginia school personnel in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect% B""9le! Child Abuse and )eglect by parents and other caregivers%