Safety of children still needs improving, says ombudsman

One-fifth of teenagers between 15 and 18 years old were victims of robbery, assault or vandalism last year and 62,000 children were sexually abused for the first time, according to the latest report by the children’s ombudsman.

The figures, published on Tuesday in the children’s rights monitor 2014 by ombudsman Marc Dullaert, are based on information from the national statistics agency CBS. It questions 10,000 Dutch people about their experience of crime every year.

In 2013, the ombudsman said one in four teenagers was a victim of crime, the NRC points out. Despite the apparent drop, more action is needed, the ombudsman says.

‘The figures show that many vulnerable children still need extra attention to ensure their rights are not ignored,’ Dullaert writes in the introduction. ‘Think of children growing up in poverty and children who suffer violence.’

The figures also show that children and teenagers are less likely to be the perpetrators of crime which means efforts in this area are working, Dullaert said.

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