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The World Health Organisation (WHO) for first time has formulated clinical guidelines on responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.
The guidelines are grounded in human rights standards and ethical principles. They will assist frontline health care providers — general practitioners, gynaecologists, nurses and others — who may directly receive victim of sexual abuse or may identify sexual abuse during course of diagnosis and treatment.
WHO’s first of kind gender sensitive guidelines provide first line support to child or adolescent in response to the disclosure of sexual abuse. It offers HIV post-exposure prophylaxis and adherence support to those who have been raped and who present within 72 hours.
It offers emergency contraception to girl child who has been raped and who present within 120 hours (5 days). It takes into consideration STI (sexually transmitted infections) presumptive treatment or prophylaxis in settings where laboratory testing is not feasible.
It also takes in considerations cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with trauma focus for those have PTSD symptoms and diagnosis. It also offers Hepatitis B and HPV vaccination. It also calls upon health care providers about informing obligation on victims and their non-offending caregivers to report abuse and limits of confidentiality before interviewing them.
The guidelines put best interests of children first by ensuring confidentiality and privacy, respecting their autonomy and wishes and addressing needs with vulnerabilities such as LGBT adolescents. They will assist WHO member states to ensure health and well-being of children and adolescents. It will also strengthen implementation of Global Plan of Action on strengthening health systems in response to violence against women and girls and against children that was endorsed by World Health Assembly in 2016.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO is specialized agency of United Nations that acts as coordinating authority on international public health. It was established in April 1948 and succeeded Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva.
According to a recently released CRY Report on child labour, more than 8 lakh children between the age group of 5 and 6 years in India are engaged in child labour.
Child Rights and You (CRY) is an NGO working towards the upliftment of underprivileged children. The organization got established in 1979 by Rippan Kapur.
As per the report, over 5 lakh children in India do not attend school. A majority of them are involved in family based employments.
Uttar Pradesh ranks first in the number of child labourers (2,50,672 children) in the country followed by Bihar (1,28,087 children) and Maharashtra (82,847 children).
The report has identified that the high level of poverty and unemployment along with a lack of adequate social security net are the important factors forcing children to work, compromising with their learning. These children are often forced to migrate with their parents and assist in family occupations such as working in brick kilns.
The report cites that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) suffers many limitations and is now covering only 50% of the child labourers.
In the decade 2001-11, the working children in the age group of 10-14 years saw a reduction of 30% but the child labourers in the age group of 5-9 years have seen an increase of 37% from 2001.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the states/UTs. The Scheme was launched on 2nd October 1975. The scheme has the following objectives: to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years; to reduce mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout; to promote policy coordination and implementation for promoting child development; to lay an adequate foundation for the psychological, physical and social well-being of the children etc.
Under the scheme, the services such as Supplementary nutrition; Pre-school non-formal education; nutrition and health education, immunization, health check-ups; and Referral services through Anganwadi Centres for children below 6 years of age as well as to pregnant women& lactating mothers are offered.