As the General Assembly meets to discuss the future global priorities for people all over the world children have made a resounding statement that violence and exploitation perpetrated against them MUST be included.
In a study of children’s views on violence and exploitation, ChildFund Alliance conducted over 50 focus groups with children in 41 countries involving over 1300 individual children so that their voices can be heard as part of the post-2015 agenda.
This snapshot provides horrific examples of violence and exploitation raised by some of the children.
- Being punished with heated metal rods and spoons
- Abducted so their organs could be harvested
- Girls being forced to become pregnant to act as drug mules
- Forced into child marriage to settle family disputes and debts
- Severe beating at schools leading to death
- Children’s hands put in boiling oil
Despite their awareness of these horrendous violations, children themselves were able to recommend practical solutions to increase their safety. The top three calls to world leaders were to create and enforce legislation against violence; fund and run awareness campaigns at all levels, and ensure offenders are punished so that children feel safe.
Globally the top three forms of violence and exploitation that children identified were sexual violence, child labour and physical and humiliating punishment. African children also highlighted harmful traditional practices and children in the Americas pointed to the issue of bullying.
Children stated that they felt free when they were actively listened to, had access to school and the opportunity to play. The risks they identified included: drug and alcohol abuse, school dropout and pregnancy as well as being forced to engage in criminal activity.
ChildFund Alliance’s global campaign “Free From Violence” has been set up to advocate to Governments for the inclusion of the prevention of violence and exploitation of children as one of the development priorities in the post 2015 agenda and to raise awareness at all levels of these issues.
As well as publishing this study, ChildFund Alliance believe everyone has a role to play in making children free from violence and exploitation and are encouraging people to join the campaign and learn more.
“Children have made it clear that we should not miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make them free from violence and exploitation” said Andrew Johnson, Deputy Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance.
“Although the size and scale of the problem is enormous - solutions are possible - and we must make a start by listening to children as our report highlighted.
“Children articulated that we all must play our role in freeing them from violence - this global campaign highlights that individuals only have to take one small action to generate change.”
To support the Free from Violence campaign please sign the petition.