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Child Abuse: More Struggles for the Younger Generation
Article Date: March 24, 2008
A new study revealed that violence against children by the most loved ones could turn them to be violent in their future, hinting that children always expect protection and care from those who are around them.
Head of Juveniles Court in Sana’a Judge Afrah Ba-Dwailan strongly condemned abuse against children and juveniles bringing to mind the story of Berdees, 16, who was imprisoned by her father and her step-mother in a room for eight years. “Children are abused as a habit, and this will have its negative effect on the future of our younger generation,” she said.
The study also indicated that violence against children could lead them to give up school, and turn to street living, which makes them more vulnerable to mistreatment and harassment.
Children exposed to bad treatment in their homes are more likely to fail their courses, and find it difficult to deal with their parents and teachers. "My parents as well as my teachers don't understand me. They think I am abnormal. Only my friends understand me", said a 15 years old student Mohamed Ali Al-Nassari.
Official reports by Yemen's Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor indicate that child smuggling into neighboring countries is still on the increase, especially through the northern province of Hajjah, but efforts are exerted to prevent it. Chief Communication and Information officer at UNICEF office in Yemen Nasim Ur-Rehman, indicated that if children are not in school, they are more vulnerable to being trafficked or end up doing dangerous jobs.
Numerous children refuse adult life and many of them turn to gangs' life or make a way into streets, thus threatening their families.
Several fathers adopt new means to discipline their children but sometimes resort to beating to settle their children's problems and this causes some of them to revolt. "When it's necessary I beat my children in order to stop their quarrels not in order to hurt or harm them," said 35 years old and a father of three children Moneer Salih.
The study also reveals that children who are exposed to violence will have no respect for their parents and will have depressing moods during their lifetime. They will also not accept low salaries if they were offered jobs.
Treating children in a good manner will make them good citizens in the future the study adds. "Though sometimes I get upset at my children's behavior, I try my best to calm down so I can find an alternative solution," pointed out a 42 years old educational consultant at the Ministry of Education Ahmed Amer Al-Suraimi.
As means of punishment, some fathers make their children clean the house or some other home chores. "If my children don't listen to me or break a glass for instance, I don’t beat them but I have them clean the house," mentioned Faiza Al-Agel.
Still, many experts declare that children with no parents are more violent than children who have parents.
Such violence against children is minor comparing it to the child trafficking that goes on in Yemen with neighboring countries, and what children suffer while in the process.
In statements to BBC news, Expert is children issues Jamal Al-Hadi pointed out that smuggled children were in danger of being sexually abused or killed. "When the Saudi authorities arrest them they put them in prison with adults. In the Yemeni border village of Al-Khadour 20 smuggled children were found dead. They were killed either by Saudi bullets or military vehicles over the past few years while trying to enter Saudi Arabia," he said.
Child welfare centers set up by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and run by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, aims to alleviate the problem. According to the Ministry’s data, Haradh center, in Hajja Province, received 900 smuggled children in 2006 and another 622 in 2007. In early January 2008, another center was also set up in Sana'a to care after smuggled and abused street children.