Sexual abuse and family problems are two of the reasons why the MIO children’s rights institution has been rather busy during the past year.
When the supervisory body of the Naalakkersuisut (self-rule authorities) last spring revealed grave care neglect of children, in particular in Greenland’s capital Nuuk, it caused significant attention. This happened despite the local welfare authorities having recently received additional funding for child care.
- This is very alarming and we cannot rectify this fast enough, so that children can be as safe as they are meant to be, Greenland’s Minister for Social Issues Sara Olsvik then said to the Sermitsiaq newspaper.
Now there are further confirmations that many struggle among Greenlandic children and youth.
In 2016, 922 children contacted the institutions via SMS in order to gain advice.
According to a recent report, the children stated that they were struggling with and tired of everything from family trouble to sexual abuse and suicide attempts.
Greenland’s Sermitisaq newspaper writes that many of the children have contacted MIO more than once, and that sexual abuse is one of the most frequent reasons why they have contacted the institution. A total of 65 inquiries concerned sexual abuse.
Greenland’s first institution for children’s rights was established in 2012 with Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, politician and spokeswoman, in the lead. The SMS counselling service was created in 2013. Barely six months after its creation, Chemnitz Larsen said that children as young as 10 years of age were making use of the SMS service.
MIO works according to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. Last year, most inquiries to the MIO came from youth aged 14 to 17.
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