The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has warned that Indonesia is facing an emergency of violence against children as the number of abuse cases has risen steadily.
The KPAI received more than 16,000 reports of violence against children across the country's 34 provinces and 179 cities in the past four years.
In 2014, the number of reported child abuse cases nationwide increased to 5,066 cases from 4,311 in the previous year. This year, the commission has recorded almost 2,000 cases from January to July.
'This year's figure does not include police reports. Many cases may also have yet to be reported. So, the real number could be higher,' KPAI spokesman Erlinda said recently.
According to data from the KPAI, around 50 percent of the cases involved sexual violence, which could lead to murder.
Other cases included physical abuse, kidnapping, economic exploitation and trafficking.
The most recent case to come to light was the rape and murder of Putri Nur Fauziah, 9, whose body was found in a cardboard box in an illegal dump near her house in Kalideres, West Jakarta.
KPAI data also revealed that 93 percent of perpetrators were close to the victims, with fathers accounting for 28 percent of such abuse.
One example was the case of M, a 13-year-old resident of Tebing Tinggi in North Sumatra. She was sexually abused by her father for three years after her father and mother divorced.
Child protection activist Seto Mulyadi, better known as Kak Seto, said that the increasing number of child abuses cases indicated that the country continued to neglect the problem.
'The country's law enforcement is not resolute enough in providing a deterrent effect on the perpetrators, because the government doesn't make child abuse cases a priority,' Seto said.
He cited the case of Angeline, an 8-year-old Bali girl who was reported missing in May and found dead a month later, buried in the backyard of her adoptive mother's house.
The National Police said the adoptive mother was a suspect but police have yet to complete the investigation.
Seto said that law enforcers should impose heavy sentences on child abuse perpetrators, but lamented that in many cases perpetrators were given light sentences.
'They should be sentenced to death, like terrorists and drug smugglers. It is part of prevention,' Seto said.
He also criticized the government for having no serious policy to deal with violence against children and appearing to give priority to battling terrorism or pursuing drug offenders.
'Child abuse cases should be more important than terrorism and drug-related crimes, because it's all about our next generation,' he said.
Meanwhile, National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said the police had yet to take specific steps to prevent child abuse.
'So far, we can only help by following up on reports of such cases and patrolling in certain places, including schools. Preventive action should come from the parents,' Agus said. 'How could the police monitor so many children in the country?' (foy)
To receive comprehensive and earlier access to The Jakarta Post print edition, please subscribe to our epaper through iOS' iTunes, Android's Google Play, Blackberry World or Microsoft's Windows Store. Subscription includes free daily editions of The Nation, The Star Malaysia, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Asia News.
Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)close x