WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ending Violence Against Children Taskforce applauds Sens. Boozman and Cardin and Reps. McGovern and Wilson for introducing Sen. Res. 112 and its companion H. Res. 230 yesterday. Written with input by the Taskforce, which includes ChildFund International, Futures Without Violence, Save the Children, UNICEF USA and World Vision, the resolution condemns all forms of violence against children and youth while encouraging the development of a strategy for preventing, addressing and ending violence against children and youth globally.
The resolution is part of a multi-year advocacy effort led by the Ending Violence Against Children Taskforce, a group of international non-governmental organizations committed to addressing the global prevalence of physical and emotional violence. Continued engagement by the Taskforce organizations with members of Congress galvanized the support and ultimate introduction of the resolution.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion children worldwide are exposed to violence in their homes, schools and other places that are presumed to be safe. Violence, when unaddressed, damages children’s learning, behavior and health across a lifetime. Violence against children undermines our development efforts around the globe. In schools, 246 million boys and girls experience gender-based violence, with girls at a higher risk of sexual violence, harassment and exploitation. School-related gender-based violence is a major obstacle to ensuring girls’ access to basic education. Around the world, nearly one in three adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 suffered from the effects of violence.
The Ending Violence Against Children resolution also calls on Congress to recognize the economic consequences of violence against children and youth. The global economic impact of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children may be as high as $7 trillion, or 8 percent of the world’s GDP.
“The outcomes the United States hopes to achieve with our global economic development initiatives will struggle to fully take hold in countries where violence against children goes unaddressed,” said Sen. John Boozman, a lead sponsor of the resolution. “Horrific acts like human trafficking and child labor have tragic lifelong consequences for individual children and devastate entire communities. This bipartisan resolution sends a strong message that a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy.”
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, also a lead cosponsor of the resolution, echoed the gravity of the issue, stating, “Millions of children around the world have lost their childhoods to physical, sexual and mental violence and abuse. As adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and prevent the types of inhumane treatment and developmental roadblocks found in far too many corners of the world. This is a local issue and a global one. I am proud to stand with Sen. Boozman to lead the call for the U.S. government to develop and implement a strategy to address the widespread dangers being faced by children and youth that is in line with international standards and sustainable development goals.”
The World Health Organization, along with the Centers for Disease Control, the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, UNICEF and others have developed INSPIRE, a package of evidence-based interventions to reduce rates of violence against children. The coordinated approach adopts common metrics and indicators that can be used by U.S. government agencies to prevent, address and end violence against children and youth globally.
“Now is the time for Congress to lead on the important issue of eliminating violence against children,” said Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, a lead sponsor of the resolution in the House. “As more families flee their home countries to escape violence, we must take up the commonsense actions laid out in this bipartisan resolution to protect as many children as possible.”
Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina joined Rep. McGovern in leading this effort, adding, “This important bipartisan resolution sends a clear message across the world: Congress cares about the plight of millions of children exposed to violence. Our moral duty requires us to be the advocates for those whose lives are forever affected by the tragic consequences of violence. We must do everything in our power to increase our commitment to ensuring that all children can live in a safe environment, without having to endure violence in any form. I am grateful to work with Congressman Jim McGovern on this critical issue.”
ChildFund International partners with communities throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas - including the United States - to create lasting, positive change for children. Our programs address the underlying conditions that prevent children and youth from achieving their full potential. Last year, we reached 11.4 million children and family members. Approximately 200,000 Americans support our work by sponsoring individual children or investing in ChildFund programs. Learn more at www.ChildFund.org.
Futures Without Violence is a national health and social justice nonprofit that develops groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns to empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children. Striving to reach new audiences and transform social norms, we train professionals such as doctors, nurses, judges, educators and athletic coaches on improving responses to violence and trauma. We also work with advocates, policymakers, and others to build sustainable community leadership and educate people everywhere about the importance of respect and healthy relationships. For more information, visit www.futureswithoutviolence.org.
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/.