Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, August 16-18, 2001, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Document Type


Presentation Date



Corporal punishment by parents or guardians, family members and relatives is an accepted cultural practice in Ethiopia. Aside from parents and other family members, many children are also abused (physically and sexually) by other persons who by chance meet them. At the same time, there are undergoing activities related to child abuse management by concerned institutions. Coordinated child abuse management involves various professionals and institutions. This paper examines the situation of child abuse and its management in Addis Ababa focusing on challenges and controversies revolving around this social problem. It assess pertinent issues involved in child abuse management on the basis of the information obtained from case studies of abused children and abusers, agents of the criminal justice system (the police, lawyers, the judges), medical professionals, social workers, sociologists, psychologists and etc. The child abuse issue in Addis Ababa appears mainly linked to general conditions of poverty. Further, the main problem in child abuse management seems to be the absence of coordination among various agents, and lack of adequate resources and institutional facilities in place.


This article is extracted from a research report entitled “Child abuse management and age determination for young offenders in Addis Ababa” (Getnet, 2000). I have also included two case studies (physical abuse) from my previous work on “Family violence aganst children in Addis Ababa” (Getnet et al, 1999) which I conducted along with my colleagues: Danial Tefera and Elias Nasir. I should take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Danial and Elias.