Violence against kids won’t be tolerated

MUSCAT: The Sultanate is taking all efforts to ensure a healthy environment and overall well-being of children, according to the Ministry of Health. “Violence against children and protecting their physical as well as mental health have come of age and we are working in collaboration with the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Social Development,” says Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosni, Under-Secretary at the MoH.
Speaking to the Observer at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, he said if any abuse, attempt to abuse, violence against a child is found, information should be passed to the concerned child welfare authority. “Parent of the child who is suspected to have been abused physically, sexually or emotionally should take it up and do all possible medical tests while the case is transferred to the Public Prosecution.”
Being a pediatrician first, he said scolding and caning often lead stuttering and similar psychological problems in children.
“Historically, there has been a lot of improvement in terms of dealing with children who misbehave in classes at the schools thanks to the Oman Child Law. More children are becoming better.”
He further noted that there has been less number of cases of caning and beating by teachers in the classes, again thanks to the strict law.
“Similarly, we make sure the school canteens serve better nutrition to the children. We encourage breakfast should be given to all kids. Also, the caretakers are advised to ensure the same and the food items in the school canteens are always subjected to scrutiny while junk food and foods with unhealthy ingredients are totally banned,” Dr Al Hosni said.
The three-day conference, which will conclude on Tuesday, is organised by Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Ministry of Social Development, Children First Association and the UNICEF. Nearly 400 experts, professionals, and high-level officials from over 35 different countries around the world are attending the 2019 ISPCAN International Conference organised for the first time in Muscat. UNICEF representatives from 14 country offices are attending the conference.