Photo: Child Abuse on Rise in Colombia
Child abuse continues to be a very serious wound in the Latin American country. According to the latest report carried out by ICBF, the Colombian Institute which deals with the protection of the family, in 2011 104,392 complaints were recorded, of which 39,500, about 40%, related to cases of abuse on boys and girls.
The numbers could be much higher, both because many cases are not reported and because there are cases of abuse that are culturally accepted. The ICBF statistics deal with reported cases, what are missing are those hidden thanks to the complicity of family members or other people outside the household. Compared to last year, however, complaints have increased due to greater awareness on behalf of the population. It has gone from 95,577 to 104,392.
The type of abuse recognized as the most common is that given by the negligence of adults who deprive children the attention they need. In 2011 there were 19,521 complaints of this form of abuse, followed by 17,795 complaints of child physical abuse, 1,827 for psychological abuse and 363 for abuse even during pregnancy. Regarding sexual abuse, out of 11,025 children abused, 4,796 are girls and 1,281 are boys, mostly between 7 and 12 years of age. The reported cases of sexual exploitation in 2011 have so far been 606, also, according to the ICBF figures, 507 children are involved in prostitution and 54 in pornography.
In the country there are 2,513 child workers, 392 who live on alms, 14,524 are under the Criminal Responsibility System for Adolescents, 878 are street children, 4,681 drug users, 1,352 are displaced. According to the chief of the movement for the protection of children in Latin America, the problem in Colombia and the world is more serious than it appears from the figures reported.