New measures to prevent the sexual abuse and maltreatment of childrenNew improvements and protection measures are to be introduced in the coming months at various municipal facilities such as sport centres and play libraries to prevent the sexual abuse or maltreatment of minors or to be able to detect it. Action includes architectural modifications and training sessions for staff at the facilities.
The measures to be applied consist of architectural modifications and changes to physical spaces, pick-up and drop-off areas for children, surveillance cameras and signs prohibiting photography. At facilities which are specifically for minors, meeting areas for families will be created, with rooms guaranteeing emotional privacy.
In terms of staff at facilities, there will be specific personnel for children in reception areas and changing rooms and protocols will be drafted outlining the procedure if any cases of abuse or maltreatment occur. Management at the facilities will also get specific yearly training to be familiar with the protocols and know how to proceed if child abuse occurs. The facilities will also have a protection delegate, as set out in the protocol on combatting the maltreatment of young children and teenagers in Catalonia.
The implementation of the measures to prevent child abuse and maltreatment will start with municipal sports centres, children’s activity schools, play libraries and open centres. Later there will be a review of installations at libraries belonging to the Barcelona Library Consortium, community centres and young people’s facilities such as young people’s information points, summer schools and youth centres.
For these measures to be applied, an analysis of facilities was carried out as part of the municipal zero tolerance policy in cases of child abuse and maltreatment. In January 2018 the City Council set up an interinstitutional board for the prevention of sexual abuse to children, with the Government of Catalonia and various childhood-related institutions involved to drive the process to review the protocols and adopt new measures to prevent the abuse of minors.
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