World Medical Association statement on Child Abuse and Neglect

Statement revised by the 68th WMA General Assembly, Chicago, United States of America, October 2017

The welfare of children is of paramount importance. Health professionals should put the welfare of children at the centre of all decision-making related to individual children and young people and act in the best interests of children in all of their interactions with children, young people, families, policy-makers and other professionals.

Following my @WCMTUK Fellowship I had the opportunity to re-draft the World Medical Association’s statement on Child Abuse and Neglect.

After discussion within the British Medical Association a re-drafted statement was agreed and this was consulted on within the World Medical Association to seek the views of consistent Members. The feedback received was used to finalise the proposed revised statement which was put to the World Medical Association General Assembly in Chicago in October 2017.

The World Medical Association has 109 consistent National Members who together represent over 10 million doctors worldwide.

I’m delighted that the proposed revisions to the statement were accepted in full by the General Assembly and the newly revised statement is now publicly available.

The World Medical Association agrees that the health, safety and wellbeing of children is incredibly important in healthy and happy societies and that health professionals have a special and unique role in the welfare of the world’s children.

The British Medical Association has worked to improve child protection measures in the UK to combat abuse, including child sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation, taking steps such as calling for more effective training programmes for all professionals dealing with children and families, among other legislative measures.

It is positive to see other national medical associations around the world will dedicate themselves to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people by better identifying and preventing harm and ensuring young people’s rights to a healthy and safe childhood, around the globe, are respected.


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