Information about New Taipei City childcare workers who were found guilty of child abuse can be accessed online, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday.
The city’s Social Welfare and Legal Affairs departments are taking the issue of child abuse very seriously, as there have been several reports of child abuse at daycare centers and at home over the past week, he said.
The Social Welfare Department yesterday launched a page on its Web site to publish reports of convicted child abusers, Hou said, adding that the section has so far been updated with the two most recent cases.
Photo: Screen grab from the Miaoli County Government Web site
Information about child abusers used to be displayed in the “recent news” section of the Web site, which meant the information was quickly buried by new announcements, he said.
The decision to publicize the information was at the discretion of the department, Hou said, citing the rejection of a request by a father to post the ruling in a case in which an offender was sentenced to four months in prison.
The department decided that the incident was not significant enough, he added.
Following a spate of child abuse cases reported by the local media, a number of officials across party lines have been calling for information about child abusers to be made more transparent.
New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) on Tuesday said that a database of people “unfit for work at childcare facilities” must be established.
Saul Peng (彭盛韶), director of the Banciao District (板橋) branch of the NPP’s New Taipei City chapter, yesterday said that because of the way information was displayed on the Social Welfare Department’s Web site, it was impossible to find records even from as recent as 2017.
The governments of Taipei and Miaoli County have made information about child abusers easily accessible on their Web sites, and New Taipei City should not lag behind, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City Councilor Chang Wei-chien (張維倩) at a city council meeting on Wednesday last week called for an online platform to list child abusers and the childcare centers at which they worked.
Star swimmer Jason Tang (唐聖捷), who previously ran for office in New Taipei City’s Taishan District (泰山), said that while the city’s improvement of the accessibility of offender information was “better late than never,” it was not enough to post only the two most recent cases.
Miaoli County has made offender information dating back to 2014 available on its Web site, despite it being understaffed and lacking resources, Tang said.
The New Taipei City Government has no excuse for not doing a better job, he said.
The city must provide better records as soon as possible to protect the city’s children and allow parents to feel safe sending their children to daycare facilities, he said.
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