Muscat: More than 700 complaints were received by the Child Protection Hotline last year while the Child Protection Committees dealt with 488 child abuse cases.
The Ministry of Social Development said, "Child Protection Hotline (1100) operates round-the-clock, and provides services to children exposed to violence or abuse by registering their complaints."
According to the ministry's annual report, "The number of cases of child abuse received by the Child Protection Hotline during 2019 reached 707, including 383 cases of boys and 324 of girls."
According to the category of abuse, “negligence” came first amounting to 41.6 per cent of cases, 148 of whom were Omani children and 146 non-Omanis, physical abuse constituted 19.8 per cent, 71 of them were Omani children and 69 non-Omani children.
"Sexual abuse cases came third with a total of 137 incidents, of which 81 were Omani children (29 boys and 52 girls) and 56 non-Omani children (32 boys and 24 girls). The psychological abuse category had 136 children, including 78 Omanis, and 58 non-Omanis."
Muscat Governorate came first with 355 reports of child abuse, followed by the Governorate of North Al-Batinah with 150, the Governorate of South Al-Batinah came third with 57 cases (31 male and 26 female), followed by the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah and South Al Sharqiyah with 36 each and North Al Sharqiyah having 34.
19 complaints were received by the Child Protection hotline in the Dhofar Governorate followed by Al Dhahirah Governorate with 11 cases, and Al Buraimi Governorate with 10 (3 for boys and 7 girls). Musandam Governorate came last with a female child report.
The Ministry of Social Development clarified that the “Child Protection Committees” established to protect children from violence and abuse dealt with 488 cases, including 422 Omani children and 66 non-Omani children.
Furthermore, the age group of children subjected to abuse were, 168 cases in the age group of newborn to six years old, 195 cases of children aged between 7 to 12 years and 126 children between 13 and 18 years.
According to the Ministry's, 44 of the children were enrolled in Al Wifaq children home in 2019, including 29 Omani children and 15 expatriates.