EYEAFRICA TV: Tunis, Tunisia: Domestic violence affects 88 percent of children in Tunisia, according to the latest surveys conducted by the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation on the situation of children in 2018.
The surveys are part of a series of surveys sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
“Tunisian families must rethink their way of raising children. Even educated parents tend to mistreat their offspring. Dialogue with children is best way because any form of violence at an early age breeds violence,” Habib Smaoui, an official from the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, said in an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN).
Following the release of the study, a parliamentary committee has brought together all stakeholders from the Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Seniors, the Tunisian League of Human Rights and several Child Care Associations. The focus group invited civil society activists, parents, social scientists and child psychiatrists.
“The percentage of children who are victims of violence is shocking. Understanding this alarming phenomenon is necessary in order to find relevant solutions. Physical and verbal violence are a threat to a child mental health. However, ignoring or not dedicating enough time to a child is also a form of violence,” Abdel Razak Aouidet, a Tunisian Member of Parliament, told the CGTN.
These surveys, based on a series of 183 indicators, including indicators on sustainable development, have shown a clear improvement in most of the indicators, particularly those related to the situation of the children’s mother, their health, education, childhood and domestic violence.
“It’s true that parents are under pressure due to the high cost of living and the huge responsibilities. However, this does not justify any form of violence against children. If you have children, you must take care of them,” said Habiba Baatout, a mother.
The Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Seniors has established temporary shelters for children in vulnerable situations in many regions across the country.