An official Tunisian report showed that reports of child exploitation cases in 2017 have risen by 60.7 per cent compared to 2016.
This came in the annual report about the activities of the Child Protection Delegation of the Ministry of Women, Family, Children, and Elders in Tunisia.
At a press conference to present the report’s findings, the General Child Protection Delegate, Mehyar Hammadi, pointed out that “there has been an increase in the number of notices about child exploitation cases in the country in 2017 by 60.7 per cent compared to 2016.”
Hammadi explained that “The Child Protection Delegation’s activity in 24 governorates has documented a high number of notices, and this is a proof of the awareness of state institutions and civil society components of their notice duty.”
He continued that “There is an increase in cases of child exploitation in all its forms, especially within the family environment.”
He added that “Child Protection Delegates have received 16,158 notices of child exploitation in 2017, and the threats contained in the notices showed that 63.1 per cent of the children have been abused in the domestic environment at home, while 17.7 per cent of them have been threatened in the street, and 3 per cent of them have been bullied in education institutions.”
Child Protection Delegate pointed out that “The parents’ inability to take enough care of their children represented the main cause of 3,634 cases, 27.4 per cent, while cases of sexual exploitation accounted for 7.4 per cent (680 children versus 295 children).”
According to the report, the number of children’s suicide attempts has increased by 78.1 per cent. The suicide attempts among exploited children have increased from 195 cases in 2016 to 319 cases in 2017.
In 2017, Child Protection Delegates requested 14,068 legal permits (to raise cases of exploitation) and 4,279 social and psychological investigations by the concerned authorities, according to the General Child Protection Delegate.
Hammadi confirmed that in 2017, 13,916 protective measures were taken for 12,751 cases, which included providing help as well as psychological and social care to children within their natural environment. In addition, a number of new-borns and orphans were sheltered in child care centres.