(MENAFN - Arab News) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Madinah has discovered cases of violence against children living in the Social Education home.
Sharf Al-Quraafi, supervisor of the HRC in Madinah, said a team from the its office visited the Social Education Department's home for male children aged 11 to 16 years last Tuesday, to ensure the implementation of the Kingdom's obligations toward issues of human rights.
Some of the cases which came to light were beatings with electric cables, slapping the face and depriving children of breakfast for some days under the pretext of the absence of a cook who doubled up as a cleaner in the home.
"All the children complained of the bad service in the Al-Madinah home. The meals are of poor quality, the furniture is old and the children have to put up with unhygienic sanitary conditions. Educational standards are inferior and there is need for improving the medical care which does not meet the required standard. There is a shortage of medicines and medical instruments and a lack of medical staff," Al-Quraafi said.
She said the Social Education's administration is responsible for these children and it must adhere to the Convention on Childcare's Rights.
A number of social activists told Arab News that most of the Social Education homes in the Kingdom need to be permanently monitored by local human rights societies to stop violence against children living there.
"The Social Education departments in the Kingdom do not have staff specialized in human rights awareness and we continue to hear about the violence that these children are being subjected to," said Ali Saleh, a social activist.
"The Ministry of Social Affairs must step up efforts to instill rights culture in all its departments," he added, pointing out that violence in the homes will continue in the absence of clear sanctions.
The president of the Human Rights Commission, Bandar bin Muhammad Al-Aiban, said early this year that his organization will embark on holding training courses for administrators and teachers at girls schools.
"These courses aim to raise awareness about the importance of detecting cases of violence against children," said Al-Aiban.
He pointed out that violence against children represents a violation of their rights and poses a threat to future generations.
"Offenders should be punished severely as this segment of the population (the children) in particular cannot defend itself," he said.