五歲女童被嚴重虐待致死案 香港兒童權利委員會籲政府改善法律和制度

轉自: 香港兒童權利委員會 

【有關五歲女童被嚴重虐待致死案的聲明|Statement on the tragedy of the five-year-old girl who was abused to death】

(Please scroll down for English Version)

五歲女童被父親和繼母嚴重以酷刑和其他殘忍、不人道及有辱人格的處罰虐待致死令全城震動。面對如此悲劇,大眾感到痛心的同時,更希望尋找真相:為什麼我們的社會和制度竟然會無法保護小女孩?

女童用身上的傷口、疤痕(解剖報告指出逾130道新舊傷痕)向我們控訴著她正長期受虐。她需要我們成年人為她發聲。社會大眾亦十分關注留下來的八歲兄長和七歲繼姊的福祉,有關方面必須悉心協助他們慢慢從傷痛復原過來。

事實上,這並非單一事件。2017年12月,一名12歲女童涉嫌被吸毒及患有精神病的母親謀殺及肢解。與此同時,社會大眾亦不會忘記五歲智障男童楊智維誤食冰毒死亡,而父母是有在家吸食毒品的習慣。智維死前一個月,不同專業曾經因為楊童身上的傷痕及其他懷疑被虐待的徵狀召開多專業個案會議,亦確定這是一宗虐兒個案,但最後因為未能取得家舍宿位並繼續居留在原址而導致悲劇發生。

指責和埋怨並不能避免慘劇的發生。只有政府和社會各界攜手合作,改善法律和制度,才能夠保護香港的110萬兒童。而這些個案必須獲得徹查,找出漏洞及確保負責任的態度成為社會常態。

我們呼籲政府:

1. 設立兒童死亡獨立調查機制就每名兒童的不自然死亡(甚或嚴重受創)展開獨立調查,找出根本原因;當中的作為與不作為;和及早介入避免兒童死亡或受傷害的機會。

2. 以法例全面在香港禁止體罰,並設立有效監察制度確保法例落實執行。父母正面管教孩子的計劃要廣泛地展開,並應特別聚焦有新生兒的家庭。

3. 以保護兒童的前題下展開全面的兒童法律改革,把《兒童權利公約》的條文納入本地法律。我們建議政府先就保護兒童法案作諮詢。
4. 立即研究在香港成立懷疑虐兒的強制性通報機制,確保懷疑個案不會被隱瞞、掩飾或置之不理。

5. 確保每間學校有清晰的揭發/舉報政策處理兒童有可能因健康、安全或福祉遇上危機的情況;而每一位老師都需要有相關的訓練及在學校團隊的支持下去面對,而不是獨自承受一切壓力。

6. 在教育局轄下設立學前兒童退校註冊處,當有學前兒童退學,學校必須上報教育局,確保沒有學前兒童因退學而失聯。

7. 確保由社會福利署及教育局發出有關如何處理懷疑虐兒的指引納入教師和社工的職前及在職專業培訓當中。

8. 減低社工/老師和學生之間的比例,讓他們有更多時間和學生相處和支援有需要的兒童。

9. 有見於嬰、幼兒尤其容易受到傷害,有必要檢討幼兒照顧服務及支援。

10. 推動公眾教育讓兒童和成年人了解兒童權利,及明白在「保護兒童」這個課題上大家的共同責任。公眾包括鄰居要清晰自己在保護兒童免受傷害這個事情上所扮演的重要角色。

11. 成立有法定地位的兒童事務專員公署,授權兒童事務專員倡議及捍衛兒童的權利和他們的最佳利益。

《兒童權利公約》已於1994年在香港正式生效,我們必須向國際社會兌現承諾,無論政府和民間在「保護兒童」這個課題上都應抱持共同責任。

香港兒童權利委員會
二零二一年四月十三日

The Hong Kong community roars. We are not only heartbroken by the tragic death of the five-year-old girl who suffered from the torturous, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted by her parents and finally led to her death, we also raise a big question why our system had failed her.

The little girl had been telling us with her wounds and scars (over 130 old and new wounds found on her body as the autopsy revealed) that she had been continuously abused. She relied on us, adults to speak up for her. The community is also concerned about the surviving 8-year-old brother and 7-year-old stepsister, their well-being and rehabilitation must be carefully ensured.

This was not a single case. The community was also shocked by the alleged murder and dismemberment of a 12-year-old girl committed by her own mother with mental illness and drug behaviours in December 2017. The community should never forget Yeung Chi-wai, a boy with mental disabilities died at the age of five from “ice” poisoning. His parents were found to have substance abuse behaviours at home. Chi-wai was found with multiple injuries and suspected child abuse, and was known to multi-disciplinary professionals in a case conference one month before his death. His case had already been confirmed as an abuse but continued to stay home when there was no alternative care placement available.

All these tragedies could not be prevented if we start a blaming exercise. Instead, it needs the joint efforts of the community and the commitment of the government in strengthening laws and systems to protect our 1.1 million children population in Hong Kong. And such cases must be thoroughly reviewed to trace needs and loop holes to ensure responsible practices being the norm.

We need our government to:

1. Put a Child Fatality Inquiry System in place to thoroughly investigate each individual case of a child’s unnatural death, if not also the serious cases, to understand the root causes, actions taken or not taken, and whether there existed opportunity/ies for the child to be early identified and the death and suffering could have been prevented.

2. Ban corporal punishment totally in Hong Kong by law and ensured with an effective and adequately monitored system. Positive parenting programs must be made universal especially to families with newborns.

3. Conduct a comprehensive child law reform to better protect children. There is a clear need to incorporate the stipulations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into our domestic laws. We encourage the government to begin with public consultations on the Child Protection Bill.

4. Immediately study the feasibility of setting up a Mandatory Reporting System of Suspected Child Abuse like many countries do to ensure no suspected child abuse will go unreported. Government should also give priority and allocate sufficient resources to ensure this system is reliable and accountable.

5. Ensure each school has a clear Policy on Whistle Blowing when a child’s health, safety and well-being might be at risk; and teachers must be well trained and well supported to handle such cases as a team instead of all by himself/herself.

6. Create a Registry for Pre-school Children Withdrawing from School under the Education Bureau so these kids would not be lost from the radar.

7. Make sure the guidelines of handling suspected child abuse cases issued by Social Welfare Department and Education Bureau are well integrated into the curriculum of pre-service and in-service teachers and social workers in their training.

8. Narrow down the ratio between school social workers/ teachers and students so they can better support those children in need.

9. Review child care support and services in view of the vulnerability of infant and preschool children.

10. Conduct public education to engage children and adults about children’s rights and the concept of Collective Responsibility in Children Protection. General public such as neighbours need to be sensitized and understand their role to play in protecting children from harm, risks including the hidden ones.

11. Set up a statutory Children’s Commission with a Child Commissioner mandated to champion and uphold the rights and the best interests of children in Hong Kong.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child has come into effect since 1994 in Hong Kong. We need to honor our commitment to the Convention with all our might including our collective responsibility in child protection.

Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights
13 April 2021

 

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