Save the Children Hong Kong is deeply concerned about the horrific child abuse case involving a couple murdering their five-year-old daughter in 2018. The sentencing serves as a stern reminder that child abuse crimes will NOT be tolerated. The more important message here is that we as a community should come together now to step up our efforts to better protect vulnerable children like the two children involved in this case.

In particular, we reiterate our concern for the brother involved in this case. We urge all parties to offer long-term, holistic care and support to him to ensure his best interests are met. Child abuse can be detrimental to children’s development. We need to help him recover from trauma and minimise the negative impact of this devastating experience on his growth and development.

As a community, we must do whatever we can to ensure children’s safety and prevent future cases from occurring. We urge all parties to better protect children in Hong Kong:

  • In Hong Kong, corporal punishment is prohibited in places like schools and child care centres that serve more than 5 children. However, it remains unregulated in home settings. We urge the Government to put forward a comprehensive law to prohibit all corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading punishment of children in all settings, abolish the defence of reasonable chastisement, and set a legal framework and a legislation timeline as soon as possible;

  • Child abuse is unacceptable. Schools and community organisations should establish a mandatory reporting system for all professionals that regularly interact with children, to report any level of suspected child abuse and enable immediate intervention;

  • Government and community organisations should conduct parent education programmes to provide appropriate guidance to parents and caregivers to increase their knowledge in nurturing their children in a positive way. Mandatory parent education should be provided to high risk caregivers or those families in which abuse and neglect has already occurred.

Over the years, Save the Children Hong Kong has been working tirelessly to build awareness of child protection with positive parenting in the community, through various child-focused programmes and activities. We also offer Child Safeguarding Partnerships Service to help ensure organisations that engage with children are child safe.