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Duty to notify Abuse reporting plan aims to boost child protection

Up to 20% of children in Switzerland suffer from a form of abuse according to experts 

(Keystone)

The cabinet has presented plans to improve child protection by extending the obligation to notify the authorities in suspected cases of abuse.

The proposed measures are aimed at ensuring that child protective services can intervene at an early stage, according to a statement by the justice ministry on Wednesday.

Cabinet has proposed making the duty to report mandatory for adults who work with children on a professional basis, including child minders and sports coaches. So far, the requirement has been limited to teachers and social workers.

Medical personnel, including doctors, psychologists and lawyers, would not become subject to a reporting duty but have a right to notify authorities in abuse cases.

Reservations

However, some groups have warned that a general obligation to report suspected child abuse could lead to denunciations and families refusing to seek outside help.

Parliament is still to discuss the proposed amendment of the civil code.

Up to 20% of all minors in Switzerland are suffering a form of abuse in their lives, according to experts.

At the beginning of 2013, Switzerland introduced a system of professional guardians to care for children whose parents couldn’t do so in an effort to improve child and adult protection issues.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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