Disabled children living in a town in South Africa are reportedly suffering from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. What's shocking about this is the children's perpetrators are people the kids know or interact with.
The victims' ages range between six and 27 in Orange Farm, a township located south of Johannesburg, South Africa, Independent Online reported. The male and female victims suffer from intellectual and physical disabilities, while others have autism.
Abuse Cases Weren't Reported
According to the report, 16 of the disabled children were violated sexually, two suffered emotional abuses, two were physically abused, one was kidnapped, one was neglected and one victim was forced to marry an older man. Majority of the abuse cases were reported to the police, clinics, schools and social organizations. Others, however, were rejected by authorities and some were not reported by teachers.
The Children's Act of 2005 requires professionals handling disabled children to report any untoward incidents towards the kids. However, majority of the cases didn't reach court, and only one perpetrator was convicted.
Last year, Ireland's health watchdog Hiqa received more than 70 notifications of suspected and alleged abuse against disabled children, thejournal.ie reported. Thirty-eight of the complaints Hiqa received are serious injuries to residents; 11 are accusations of misconduct by staff or the registered provider; and one complaint was about a resident's sudden death after being relocated to a hospital.
Disabled Children Facing Exclusion
Afrika Tikkun, an international NGO that helps children, youth and their families, is focusing on the rights of children with disabilities this year, Independent Online further reported. There are advocacy projects as well that provide services like teenage contraception and reporting sexual abuse cases to authorities.
Aside from suffering physical, sexual and emotional abuses, children with disabilities are also facing exclusion from education. Governments in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are guilty of this issue, the Conversation AU reported.
Schools in these countries are "deliberately disregarding disability standards" by snubbing special schools for children with disabilities, the news outlet added. They are also not conducive when it comes to giving disabled kids access to activities.
There are instances that children with disabilities were bullied by school staff. Some of their teachers do not have proper training and qualifications as well, while school principals were not responsible for cases of abuse against disabled kids.
According to parents with disabled children, they were told that their kid was not welcome at their local school. Those that accept disabled children often have teachers who don't make adjustments for the kids because of poor knowledge about disability.
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