Ethiopia: Bishop Markos Gebremedhin Decries High Cases of Child Abuse

Addis Ababa — The Apostolic Vicar of Jimma Bonga, Bishop Markos Gebremedhin has urged Christians to protect and nurture children as a responsibility given to them by God.

Speaking during the launch of the Ethiopian Catholic Church Child Protection and Nurturing Policy, he decried different kinds of mistreatment and abuses children around the world are subjected to.

"Such abuses ranges from physical abuse for instance, corporal punishment, child labour, child trafficking, sexual and psychological abuses and lack of awareness among the families on the right of their children, like the right to growth and education as well as medical treatment," he said.

In his address, he explained how children who are exposed to abuses develop psychological complications in future due to the trauma they suffered.

"Owing to the seriousness of the matter, an office has been created at Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) to work on the issues of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. At the same time advisory committee has been established both at national level and delegates from each ecclesiastical jurisdiction," he added.

During the launch, the Diocesan Child Protection and Nurturing officers were commissioned at the Bishops' Conference Center in Addis Ababa.

Bishop Markos applauded the Catholic Church in Ethiopia for joining the universal church in its advocacy towards protecting of minors in the country.

The Bishops Conference of Ethiopia mandated the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat to develop a child protection policy document as a tool to create awareness among church personnel and employees in the catholic institutions.

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