National hotline against child abuse

ORANJESTAD - Last May the council of minister of Aruba appointed the Bureau Sostenemi as national reporting point to report abuse and neglect of minors in Aruba.

The protection and safety of the children and those vulnerable in our community has the highest priority of the minister of Social Affairs and Labor as well as of all the partners working in the social affairs field.

From the beginning of the Social Crisis Plan all efforts have been made to work in a team and cooperation in order to reach a specific policy for the protection of children.

Ad Bureau SostenemiAs mentioned, the Council of Ministers have appointed the Bureau Sostenemi as the national center to report and register all cases and concerns of child abuse in Aruba. That means that starting June 1st 2019 all entities are obligated to report child abuse and neglect at the Bureau Sostenemi as stated in article 243 of the new Civil Code. Another task of the National reporting point is to provide guidance to professionals and citizens who are concerned about child abuse. Additionally the Bureau Sostenemi will, in certain cases, investigate cases to make sure if a form of abuse is taking place and will coordinate the steps to be taken in collaboration with other entities.

Article 243 regulates the definition of the child abuse reporting code.

The article also stipulates the action plan on how to handle a case once abuse or neglect is reported.

All related departments and entities will create a specific action plan to address individual cases. The Social Crisis plan is working with stakeholders with the assistance of the UNICEF and Augeo Foundation on the preparations and execution of the reporting code.

It is important to know what child abuse is. Child abuse is when a guardian, parent or family member causes harm, emotional damage, death or exposes the minor to risks of harm, by either wrongful handling or the lack of proper care. There are many forms of child abuse; neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or child exploitation. If you suspect a minor being abused or wish to report abuse please call the Bureau Sostenemi at 588-1010. All call are free and callers remain anonymous.

The Government together with the partners in the Social Crisis Plan are working towards an Aruba with maximum child protection and safety. The responsibility of the community is to protect all children.