Children's Human Rights
A critical review of child abuse and its management in Africa
Introduction: Child abuse in Africa is a major threat to the achievement of the sustainable development goals on the continent and has become increasingly topical with a dramatic increase in recognition and an appreciation of the long term harmful effects on the affected population. The aim of this review was to outline current management of child abuse (especially sexual abuse) and highlight current preventive practice that could be beneficial in a resource-limited environment.
Methods: A search of Medline and reference lists of the literature on child abuse in African countries and relevant world literature was conducted in December 2016. The review was written narratively, rather than systematically as a general overview was desired, instead of a focused view of individual aspects of child abuse.
Recommendations: Opportunities for early identification of child abuse, as well as research into preventative strategies should be prioritised. Establishing strong institutions and guidance to tackle abuse when it occurs is both beneficial to the survivors and the continent at large.
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