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Czech News in English » News » National » Number of registered Czech child abuse cases steadily growing

Number of registered Czech child abuse cases steadily growing

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Prague, Jan 6 (CTK) – The number of registered cases of child abuse and neglect more than doubled in the Czech Republic over ten years and three times more children had to be taken away from their homes due to abuse in 2014, compared with 2005, according to data of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.
In 2014, social workers registered 8487 abused and neglected children, including 4044 boys and 4434 girls. In the same year, 600 boys and 648 girls had to move to their relatives or to foster parents, shelters and other institutions.
In 2005, nearly 4000 cases of child abuse and neglect were registered and 412 children had to leave their homes.
Experts say the increase in registered cases has been caused by people being more sensitive to child maltreatment in their surroundings.
According to Our Child foundation head Zuzana Baudysova, Czech society still considers violence against children a part of child raising. The growing number of child abuse cases showed that people noticed such violence more than before, Baudysova said.
Former government commissioner for human rights, Monika Simunkova, said social workers should start dealing with problematic families as soon as possible to prevent future problems. Unfortunately, the Czech Republic does not have such a system of preventative care, she said.
If many of these families received support in time, the children would not have had to be taken from them.
Associations providing aid and assistance to children and families pointed out that support for children in need is lacking. Some criticise the system for taking children away from their homes because of a bad social situation and inadequate living conditions.
Labour Minister Michaela Marksova would like to move part of the finances used for institutional care to preventative programmes.
The fact that the labour, health and education ministries deal with the issue of child abuse prevention makes it hard to develop a general plan.
Numbers of abused and neglected children and children who had to leave their homes due to abuse:
Year Abused children Children taken from home
2005 3977 412
2010 5787 878
2011 6642 982
2012 7525 920
2013 7527 1015
2014 8478 1248
Source: Labour Ministry´s annual reports on social and legal protection of children

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