The Brothers of Saint John support the work of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia for the children’s protection and the prevention of all kinds of abuses.
Below is the presentation of the policy of the Child Nurturing and protection Office at the national and diocesan level.
Child Safeguarding and Protection
Catholic Church commits itself to create a safe and protective environment for children, to enable children to achieve their full potential and ensure their over-all well-being. We commit ourselves to the education and the moral development of all children: each holds the potential to contribute to the future welfare and development of our country. The church recognizes the need for child protection awareness, and the necessity of strategies aimed to create safe space, safe practices and the protection of children from abuses in every one of its facilities, most specifically in those Church institutions, organizations and project working with and for children. Accordingly, the Ethiopian Catholic Church has developed ‘Ethiopian Catholic Church Child Nurturing and Protection Policy’ and established an office at the national level which deals with child abuse and similar office are being established at diocesan level as well.
Who is a child? – The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (The CRC) defines a child as anyone who is eighteen years and below.
Why do children need protection? – Children are young and have less understanding of the world around them. Thus they need more care and protection than adults do. They cannot provide for themselves (shelter, education, food, etc.). Some in very difficult circumstances have provided for themselves compromising some of their rights. But it is important to note that children are not a homogenous group (0-18). Because of their developmental and social status, they are vulnerable to all forms of abuse and exploitation (trafficking, forced marriages, child labour, sexual abuse, etc.)
Biblical foundation for child protection
- Mk 10,14: Jesus said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
- Mk 9,42: “If anyone causes one of these little ones –those who believe in me –to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”
- Jn 8,32: “The truth will set you free”
What is a child abuse? – Child abuse is harm caused to any child by physical injury, sexual abuse, neglect, coercion or emotional damage. A person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.
If you observe or suspect any child abuse activity at any of Catholic institutions in Ethiopia, please report the case to the following offices be completing the Child Abuse Reporting Format attached.
Child Safeguarding and Protection Officer at the National Office
Ms. Merawit Chala: +251 11 155 0300
Child Safeguarding and Protection Officer at the Archdiocese of Addis Ababa
Mr. Mereid Getachew: +251 11 662 6256