Over 300 young people bullied daily in Island

AN average of 363 young people in Jersey are bullied each day, according to the Island’s children’s commissioner.

Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan
Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan

The figure, collated from various sources by the commissioner’s office, have been published to coincide with today’s World Children’s Day.

The report also reveals that of the 164 children who say they are maltreated, 77 of them – almost half – had been subject to sexual abuse or exploitation at some point during their lives. Another 13 had suffered physical abuse and 36 suffered emotional abuse.

Government figures have stated that 451 households in Jersey had a ‘young carer’, but according to the children’s commissioner’s research, 4,366 of under-19s said they were a carer in their home.

A total of 93 children are in care in Jersey and a third of those have special educational needs.

However, 53% of youngsters with special educational needs gained five or more GCSEs, according to the figures.

The proportion for all young people was 63%.

Children’s commissioner Deborah McMillan said it was the first time the figures had been gathered in one place to allow problems to be identified. And she said they could be put into context by comparing them to a typical primary-school class of 25 pupils.

‘In that average class, nine pupils are going to be at risk and six would be in a household where domestic abuse is going on,’ she said.

‘Two would have special educational needs, one would be self-reporting a mental-health problem and four would be living in poverty.’

She added that next month the government was due to debate how extra money for children’s and young people’s services should be used.

Mrs McMillan added: ‘We are not trying to frighten people with these figures.

‘But they are real-time data and the government should use them when they are making decisions about laws or policies or how to spend the extra money.’

Meanwhile, Jersey’s new Children’s Minister has marked World Children’s Day by praising young people in Jersey for their ‘incredible efforts to help keep everyone safe’ through the coronavirus pandemic.

Deputy Jeremy Maçon, who was appointed to the post this week, said another survey had been carried out to assess attitudes to the pandemic.

In a message directly to children and young people, he added: ‘Please continue making those incredible efforts to help keep everyone safe. It really does make a difference.’

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