WHO Releases Guidelines on Child Sex Abuse for the First Time (Important) (Download PDF)


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The World Health Organisation (WHO) formulated clinical guidelines on responding to sexually abused children and adolescents for the first time. Guidelines are grounded in human rights standards and ethical principles.

Image of Child Sex Abuse guidelines

Image of Child Sex Abuse Guidelines

Image of Child Sex Abuse guidelines

Objective for the New Guidelines

  • Assist frontline health care providers — general practitioners, gynaecologists, nurses and others — who receive victim of sexual abuse or may identify sexual abuse during diagnosis and treatment.
Child Abuse In India

Child Abuse In India

Child Abuse In India

Key Features of New Guidelines

  • Gender Sensitive: WHO’s first of kind gender sensitive guidelines provide support to child or adolescent during first response after disclosure of sexual abuse.

  • Provides for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis for victims who are raped within 72 hours.

  • Offers emergency contraception to girl child who has been raped and present within 120 hours (5 days).

  • Accounts for STI (sexually transmitted infections) presumptive treatment or prophylaxis in settings where laboratory testing is not feasible.

  • Considers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for trauma focus for victims with PTSD symptoms.

  • Offers Hepatitis B and HPV vaccination.

  • Calls upon health care providers about informing obligation on victims and their non-offending caregivers to report abuse.

Significance of the New Guidelines

  • Prioritizes best interests of children by ensuring confidentiality and privacy while respecting their autonomy and addresses needs within vulnerable communities such as LGBT adolescents.

  • Allow the WHO member states to ensure health and well-being of children and adolescents.

  • Strengthen implementation of Global Plan of Action on strengthening health systems in response to violence against women, girls, and children endorsed by World Health Assembly in 2016.

About World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Specialized agency of United Nations

  • Coordinating authority on international public health

  • Established in April 1948

  • Succeeded Health Organization- an agency of the League of Nations.

  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and is headquartered in Geneva.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 12, 2017


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