Tue, Oct 28, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Child welfare group releases statistics on abused children

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

One child died of unnatural causes every two days in Taiwan last year, a child welfare group said on Sunday.

The group also said the number of children abused and those killed by parents who then committed suicide increased at an alarming rate.

The Child Welfare League Foundation said in a study of child abuse last year that 24 children were found to have died as a result of abuse, 19 were killed as part of their parents’ suicides and 205 died in accidents.

The 248 children dying from unnatural causes meant that more than one occurred every two days and the situation is worsening, the foundation said.

Citing statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior, the report said there were 31 cases in the first 10 months of this year in which a parent or both parents committed suicide along with their children, a four-year high.

About 90 percent of the 45 children involved in those cases were sacrificed by their biological parents who murdered their children under the pretext of “sparing them the misery of living,” the foundation said.

Some 8,200 cases of child abuse were reported in the first half of this year, an average of 45 children per day, or more than twice as many as the 21 children per day average in 2004.

The report attributed a lack of parenting knowledge as the main cause of abuse and said the increasing number of abused children showed that more and more people were raising children before they understand their responsibilities as parents.

Accidental death has long been the top cause of death among children, and the foundation said that 12 children have fallen from high-rise buildings and five others were involved in domestic accidents triggered by negligence this year.

Noting that these accidents have killed 11 children and seriously injured six, the foundation said that parental recklessness, or leaving young children unattended, could put their children in extreme danger and leave them with irreversible injuries.

The foundation released the report to highlight the launch of its campaign seeking 100 proposals from the public on ways to show affection for children.

People interested in the campaign are invited to visit Web site blog.yam.com/lovekids2008 for more information.

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