Budget increased – child protection summit should provide more contact points

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Child protection concepts should be used wherever children work. Minister of Family Susanne Raab and State Secretary for Youth Claudia Plakolm (both ÖVP) said this on Wednesday in the Federal Chancellery just before a child protection summit. There they discuss with NGOs from the voluntary sector how child protection measures can be implemented in practice.

To promote child protection, the budget was increased by more than half. A total of 1.2 million euros is available. The aim is to provide financial support in particular to the expansion of contact points for children and young people and organizations in the field of violence or victim protection. After last year’s child protection package with significantly tougher sentences for perpetrators, the focus will also be on the pillars of prevention and victim protection.

Schools should be more closely involved
In this context, Raab and Plakolm also referred to the regulation announced on Tuesday regarding mandatory child protection concepts in schools. When children are abused in private, sports teachers or coaches are often the first to recognize signs. “This is a sensorium that we want to use to protect children,” Raab explains.

That is why we are also dealing with organizations “that work with children every day,” says Plakolm. Child protection is a political concern. Four out of five children are abused in private. It is therefore important to tell volunteers how to spot signals and what to do if they are suspected.

Online area also in focus
Work is already underway on a separate child protection center to combat sexual violence in the digital world. “In my opinion, we must continue to expand preventive measures to protect our children at the same pace as before, especially in the online field,” Plakolm emphasized on Tuesday. Child abuse not only takes place in the analog world, but increasingly also on social media and via messenger services. “The new Saferinternet.at project against sexual violence in the digital world will become a central part of the fight against child abuse.”

At the summit, the Austrian child protection centers and the association ECPAT will present progress in establishing the “Child Protection Quality Assurance Center”. The independent “Child Protection Quality Assurance Body” will be responsible for advising, awarding and recertifying child protection concepts. In the future, clubs and organizations can have their child protection concepts checked and certified at this office. “This should be a quality mark, especially for parents, and a visible sign for clubs and organizations that they have dealt particularly well with the protection and prevention of children,” Plakolm said.

Source: Krone

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