寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

child protection

Preventing Child Abuse after the Earthquake: Presentation at the 19th meeting of the Japanese Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (December 24, 2013)

The 19th meeting of the Japanese Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect was held in Matsumoto City, Nagano, from December 13 to 14, 2013. As we reported in this blog post (in Japanese), we presented the interim report of our study at the sectional meeting of this conference. Also during the sectional meeting, we gave a presentation on Positive Discipline (in Japanese) that Save the Children Japan (SCJ) has been promoting in Japan since 2009.

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■ Japanese Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect: The 19th Academic Meeting in Shinshu

On December 13, lectures for the academic meeting were conducted at the Main Hall of the Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre. Talks were presented by officers from ministries, staff from child consultation offices and lawyers, on approaches taken for child abuse prevention, together with their challenges, particularly for severe abuse that might lead to the death of children. The audience also learned about activities conducted towards the International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, to be held in Nagoya next year.

On the next day, session meetings and other events were held at Shinshu University. There were also presentations by organizations that work on preventing and dealing with child abuse all over Japan.

 

■ Interim report: “Learning from the Great East Japan Earthquake: Study on changes in the environment for children growing up after the earthquake and their impact on our support systems”

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In the interim report, we presented how we had analyzed the opinions of people from the disaster areas that we had gathered through interviews and questionnaires. We also explained how we were to summarize and present them as a report, along with the results.

 

In this study, we categorized the gathered opinions from interviews and questionnaires into green, gray and red groups as shown in Table 1. The contents of each group are then considered according to their relation to children, families and local communities.

 

Current situation in the disaster area (mainly   overall condition and stabilization trend)

Green Area

Situations of concern for children

Gray Area

Situations which require immediate   intervention, including child abuse

Red Area

Children

Children

Children

Families

(Guardians)

Families

(Guardians)

Families

(Guardians)

Care environment

Local communities

Care environment

Local communities

Care environment

Local communities

Social resources

 

Through this categorization we found that more opinions were clustered in the gray area (“situations of concern for children”) than the other two zones. We also noted comments that had repeatedly be given at interviews that seemed: independent of the interviewees’ occupation; were considered to have been directly influenced by the earthquake; and those we should keep in mind when discussing our future support. The main comment topics noted were, “current situations of child abuse/neglect,” “domestic violence (DV),” “evacuating/moving families,” “life in temporary housing,” “changes in family structure and main persons who bring up children,” “influence of nuclear plant accidents,” and “foster parents.” We provided some example comments for each of the above topics.

 

There was a Q&A session after our presentation where we received questions and comments from the audience. People working for support activities in the disaster areas, and others involved in child welfare asked us questions about the contents of the voices we had gathered through interviews and questionnaires. There were also some suggestions for improving the next survey.

 

We are currently preparing the final report on this study and expect to complete it in early February 2014. We shall share it with you once finished!

 

■ Introduction of Positive Discipline

At the session meeting we presented a paper titled, “Legal explicit prohibition of physical punishment at home and educational activities for child abuse prevention.” It outlines our standpoint that any physical punishment, not only in schools but also at home, should be explicitly prohibited by law as a way to prevent abuse. From this standpoint, after the presentations by NPO Kodomo Sukoyaka Support Net (child support networking) (in Japanese) and lawyers, SCJ proposed Positive Discipline (in Japanese) as a concrete alternative way of child raising that does not rely on physical punishment.

 

Positive Discipline was introduced in 2009 through the publication of “Positive Discipline – What it is and how to do it,” and we have promoted this method through our website and in seminars we have organized. Positive Discipline is an approach that deals with the issue of physical punishment at home, a topic we cannot ignore in our discussions on abuse prevention. This is also positioned as one of the world strategies of Save the Children.

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Several leaflets about Positive Discipline where distributed around the session room. After our session, many in attendance seemed to become interested in Positive Discipline and took leaflets home with them.

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If you are interested in Positive Discipline, please contact us at pd@savechildren.or.jp