A workshop was held by the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolutions (PCDCR) to declare a Position Paper about improving a protective environment for children from sexual abuse
Saed al-Maqadma, PCDCR’s Director General, explained that child sexual abuse grossly violates child rights and it is considered as a grave crime. Most children and families don’t report any of the abuse cases for fear of disgrace and they distrust the authorities. As a result, PCDCR is worried about the increase of child sexual abuse cases.
Project’s achievement presented the presence of more than 1017 children have been harassed sexually. However, the project targeted solely the north and the south governorates. The project included many activities, workshops and round tables implemented with directly relevant bodies such as: Police, the Public Prosecution, Judiciary, Forensic Medicine, and Civil Society Organizations.
Based on the Position Paper presented to the PM Ramy al-Hamdallah by PCDCR, a petition was formed to collect the largest number of signatures on the field and electronic sides. The petition calls for:
- Expediting the Palestinian Penal Code of 2003 draft approval according to the international standards of human and child rights with some necessary changes to increase deterrence in sexual crimes.
- Establishing especial courts with a specialized prosecutor and judiciary to concern about these sexual crimes in order to protect sexual abuse victims all over the country.
- Establishing safe homes for sexual abuse victims especially when the perpetrator belong to the same family or the victim family is disjoined and does not provide him/her a supportive environment.
- Establishing rehabilitation centers to rehabilitate the perpetrators psychologically and socially after their sentence expiration.
- Assigning a sufficient number of Forensic Physicians and training them to be qualified, in addition to rehabilitate central criminal laboratories.
- Strengthening enrichment activities for children to raise awareness about sexual abuse, and to push the Ministry of Education into enhancing the role of the consolers and principals in such issues.
- Constituting a commission committee to look for the reasons behind the closure of the child sexual abuse issues.
It’s notable to mention that this workshop was a part of ” a Protective Environment for Children from Sexual Abuse” project’s activities to protect children from sexual abuse by using community protection mechanisms.