In response to increasing levels of reported sexual abuse and violence against children, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has announced the opening of a special government hotline dedicated to these crimes.
The newly established government hotline follows the lead of local NGO Akhaya Women Myanmar and the Blue Ocean call centre which, since October 20, have been running a similar service for women and children who are victims of violence and sexual abuse.
While that hotline received more than 100 calls in the last month regarding violence, few calls were made regarding the sexual assault of children, according to Blue Ocean call centre’s legal and corporate affairs manager, Ko Thein Soe Oo.
In addition to the dedicated hotline, the Department of Social Welfare will cooperate with other government agencies, civil society organisations and NGOs to carry out a public awareness campaign.
The number of reported cases of child rape has risen significantly from January through the end of October compared with the same period last year, according to state media.
Violence against women and children is increasingly getting attention from activists and lawmakers, with awareness-raising campaigns launched last month amid calls for stricter penalties for offenders.
Members of the public can contact the dedicated government hotline on 067-404999 or 067-404222 if they know of or suspect that a child has been the victim of sexual or physical abuse.
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