Ending violence against children takes applying seven lessons

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  • New report on eve of major solutions-focused summit reveals the seven things governments need to know to end violence against children 
  • More than 1.7 billion children are affected by violence every year 
  • We know what works, says aid agency 

February 13 – As world leaders gather in Stockholm to talk about solutions to end violence against children, World Vision is challenging them to learn from past lessons and focus on doing what works.  

We hope this Summit will be about more than just talking, and will focus on putting into action the solutions we know that, if scaled up, will help to end violence against children, for good,” says World Vision’s head of impact and engagement, Trihadi Saptoadi, in Stockholm for the event. 

“We’ve taken some time to look at what we’ve learned from our years of experience working to end violence against children, and what we all need to do more of.”  

In a briefing released ahead of the Summit, What works to end violence against children: Seven things we have learned, World Vision draws on successful work to identify the lessons those in power should heed when implementing solutions that tackle this issue. 

“Tragically, more than 1.7 billion children are affected by violence every year, in every community and every country. Children are being subjected to violence in their communities, places of worship, schools and homes – the very spaces they should feel the most secure and safe,” says Saptoadi.  

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. The experts have identified seven approaches that, if scaled up, will have the most, lasting impact on children. We truly believe if leaders, businesses, faith groups, organisations, communities and children themselves, focused on doing more of what works, more children will be able to grow up safe, free from harm, feeling loved and cared for, not neglected and abused. 

“We have learned where we all need to do better. There is long-term commitment – by all of us – to do the things needed to make real and lasting change. This is not from a lack of willing, it is to do with the complexity of ending violence. There is a lack of committed funding, making vital long-term projects difficult to sustain; there isn’t a system in place to easily track funding because by its very nature ending violence against children means investing in other areas such as a family’s livelihood or a community’s education infrastructure.  

“There is a growing movement of organisations, communities and children working together to end violence but this needs to be matched by greater investment and action of political leaders to take the 7 lessons seriously. 

“Ending violence against children is possible, but it will take the world to make it happen.” 

ENDS 

 

Seven things World Vision has learned: 

  1. It can be done: ending violence against children is possible 

  1. It takes a world: key actors must be engaged and participating 

  1. There is no magic wand: ending violence requires a combination of different approaches 

  1. Context is key: when our approaches reflect the local culture, norms and infrastructure, they work 

  1. Big picture, little picture: solutions require direct interventions and longer-term system strengthening 

  1. It takes children: boys and girls play a significant role, as active agents of change 

  1. Scaling up: do more of what works, in more places 

 

What works, according to the experts: 

Known as INSPIRE, these strategies have been identified following extensive research as having the biggest impact on reducing violence against children.  

  • Implementation and enforcement of laws;  

  • Norms and values; 

  • Safe environments;  

  • Parent and caregiver support;  

  • Income and economic strengthening;  

  • Response and support services; and 

  • Education and life skills 

 

Examples of successful World Vision work: 

  • In the Philippines, a World Vision-led project to reduce the use of children in the sugarcane industry resulted in child labour rates decreasing from 74% to 14% in three years. 

  • In one community in South Sudan, where nearly everyone knew someone who had been raped, or been born of rape, a WV campaign to counter prejudices resulted in accepting attitudes increased by 8% in the first year alone. 

  • In Armenia, nearly all children involved in a project (92%) and the vast majority of teachers (85%) and parents (69%) reported increased knowledge and empowerment towards keeping children safe online.  

  • Over five years in Cambodia, a World Vision and partner programme that used a number of approaches saw child labour rates drop from 53% to 23%.   

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