All parties should be motivated to protect childrens rights so that they can participate in the nations progress with dignity.
Children have the right to play, to get an education, to be protected, and to receive medical facilities, apart from participating in national development.
However, violence against them remains rampant in various regions, including Bekasi in West Java, East Kotawaringin in Central Kalimantan, and Palu in Central Sulawesi.
Womens Empowerment and Family Planning Board of Bekasi spokesman Encep S Jaya has said the number of cases of violence against children in the past three years have continued to increase.
Violence affecting women is more common in the age range of 17-35 years, while children aged five to 10 years are most affected.
According to Jaya, the situation is quite alarming, with cases typically involving the sexual harassment of children and the rape of teenage girls.
It is also reported in East Kotawaringin District that the number of cases of violence against children is on the rise each year.
Central Kalimantan Women and Childrens Empowerment Integrated Service Center (P2TP2A) Chairperson Forisni Aprilista expressed alarm over the situation in Sampit on Friday.
Aprilista noted that since it was established in 2013, the P2TP2A has been dedicated to addressing complaints of violence against women and children in East Kotawaringin District.
"The number of cases of child abuse reported to P2TP2A each year continues to increase, rising from 18 cases in 2014 to 25 in 2015, and in 2016, it rose to 32 cases," Aprilista remarked.
She affirmed that most of these cases involved sexual assault and domestic violence, adding that all relevant parties should be concerned about the growth of such cases.
The local P2TP2A chairperson expressed hope that cases of violence against children would be reduced in the years to come.
In the meantime, the Board of Family Planning and Womens Empowerment (BPP-KB) in Palu, Central Sulawesi, has recorded 97 cases of violence against children from January to October this year in the city.
BPP-KB spokesperson Irmayanti Pettalolo remarked in Palu recently that violence against children was still common in the city. The children are turned into victims or potential perpetrators of violence, damaging the physical and even mental health of the next generation.
"Yes, based on the data we have, violence against children in the city of Palu is still common. It can be seen from the number of cases reported from January to October 2016, involving a variety of factors," Irmayanti said.
She pointed out that of the 97 cases of violence handled by the police, non-governmental organizations, and the Palu city government, 69 cases involved child victims while 28 cases involved children suspected of violent acts.
According to her, all relevant parties, ranging from governments, observer organizations dedicated to children, and the community to the Indonesian Ulema Council and religious leaders, need to provide guidance to the public to stop the violence.
She mentioned that the government of Palu City should encourage the citys seven sub-districts to form the Village of Eligible Children, as a form of protection and assurance of the provision of childrens rights to avoid other forms of violence.
Considered the most valuable resource of the nation, Indonesias children are a powerful force that can affect its development and stability.
To prepare themselves to become the strength of the nation, children should be industrious in their studies; make use of their time wisely; be disciplined and diligent; be helpful to each other; be unselfish; and be aware of their rights, duties, and responsibilities toward society.
Therefore, efforts must be made to spur the community to protect and make Indonesian children happy, as part of their responsibilities toward the nations next generation.
There are 87 million children in Indonesia, which is 34 percent of the total population of the country, and they are the future of the nation.
"After they reach adulthood, children must have good character and must master technology in order to win, while competing globally and transforming Indonesia into a developed country," Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani remarked at a function to commemorate National Childrens Day last July.
In her speech to mark the commemoration of the event, Womens Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise said one out of every four boys in Indonesia experiences physical violence, while one out of every seven girls experiences physical violence, including sexual assault.
It is a matter of great concern that 77 percent of boys and 85 percent of girls do not know of the existence of child protection services, she remarked.
The public must play a more active role in reducing violence toward children, Yembise affirmed, while laying emphasis on the importance of preventive efforts for the protection of children.(*)