ChildFund Alliance’s Secretary General, Jim Emerson, spoke last week at an international meeting in New York where Governments and United Nations agencies representatives discussed the importance of including the prevention of violence against children in the UN’s post-2015 agenda.
Jim Emerson read a statement supported by a group of leading non-government organisations (NGOs) including ChildFund Alliance, Family for Every Child, Plan International, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision International.
“Thanks to the efforts of national governments and the international community, more children than ever before are being saved from preventable diseases. More children are in schools and in safe, permanent environments – their access to clean water and sanitary facilities improving dramatically. As countries develop economically, children’s ‘basics’ are increasingly being better met.
“But what are we saving children from, unless we can guarantee their protection, so they can grow, thrive and engage as active citizens in their families and communities across every stage of the lifecycle? The protection of children and the promotion of their well-being is closely linked to the development of any society.
“One hundred and fifteen million children are working in the worst forms of child labour and an estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 are raped or subject to sexual violence. Three out of four children experience violent discipline at home. Over 2 million children around the world live in care institutions. At least 80 per cent of these have one or both parents who are alive. This global crisis will only be resolved if governments, UN agencies and other actors engaged in the framework to develop the Post 2015 Agenda ensure that the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation is realised.“
The meeting co-hosted by the governments of Canada and Liberia took place at UNICEF House, where representatives of 49 governments and leading NGOs heard from the Liberian Minister of Gender and Development, Ms Julia Duncan Cassell, who opened the meeting together with the President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Ms Margaret Biggs.
The panel also included the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr. Martin Mogwanja; the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Violence Against Children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais; the Global Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, Ms. Corinne Woods; the United States Government Special Adviser and Senior Coordinator on Children in Adversity, USAID, Dr. Neil Boothby.