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What’s Wrong with Our Society? Child Safety: A Responsibility for Us All.

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-07-10
  • Last Updated:2017-01-11

The consecutive child death cases happened from northern to southern part of Taiwan have sparked concern from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), which points out that these infants lost their chances of growing up due to careless adults and societal ignorance. There were various reasons for these children’s deaths: starvation due to a parent’s addiction to computer games, negligence caused by online friends of a parent, murder by a jealous step-sister and even strangulation by curtain string. The MOHW emphasizes that children are our treasures and child safety is a responsibility for us all. 

Chang Hsiu-Yuan, Director-General of the Department of Protective Services, states that we lost precious lives in just a few days and while reviewing related child protection system, we may compare the aforementioned incidents to that mentioned in international news. A boy – whose parents were later reported and charged by local authorities – was warned and spanked for playing around at an airport in the US and given over to a child protection officer after his parents’ arrest. While most people might see this as an overreaction and nothing more than a parenting issue, she points out that the US government adopts the highest standards of child protection measures because children are fragile; possibilities of exposing them to risk are thus eliminated. Comparing this incident to the aforementioned incidents, she indicates that there is apparently room for improvement regarding the implementation of measures to prevent child abuse or negligence in Taiwan, especially when scolding and physical punishments by parents are considered normal parenting styles. Our culture tends to sanction overreaching parental authority, however such authority might be misused and unbeknownst to the public, not to mention unreported to the government. 

The MOHW emphasizes that child’s lives are priceless, we – the adults – should not only concern about and attend to children’s needs, but also keep an eye on the children nearby and consider child safety as our top priority. It is our responsibility to report to the government whenever a child’s life is in danger, regardless of whether it is about parenting issues or not. Please report suspected cases of child abuse to the police, or call 113, the protection hotline, immediately to initiate child protection measures such that the government would be able to offer highest standards of protection to children in Taiwan. One phone call could be an abused child’s chance to grow up and develop normally like the rest of us.