New effort to end violence against children targets online exploitation, seeks better data

This information provided by Smart Cities Council Compassionate Cities.

“Every day, in every country and every community, children are victimized by violence -- and far too often, this violence is accepted as normal, permissible, or a private matter.” So says Susan Bissell, director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, which launched at the United Nations today. She's right, of course. Child violence isn't someone else's problem. It's a problem shared by communities everywhere – and communities everywhere need to help solve it. Read, for example, how Los Angeles is using predictive analytics to save its children from harm. – Liz Enbysk


As many as a billion children around the world experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The breakdown the CDC provides is grim:

  • One in four children suffer physical abuse
  • Nearly one in five girls is sexually abused at least once in her life
  • Every five minutes, a child dies as a result of violence.

A collective responsibility
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children launched at the United Nations today brings together governments, foundations, the UN, civil society, academia, the private sector and young people to drive action to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children.

And there's money behind the effort as well. A multi-donor trust fund has been established to support the Global Partnership. The UK Government is making a £40m contribution to catalyze the fund in collaboration with the WePROTECT Global Alliance. The UK funding will be dispersed over the next four years and will focus on ending online child sexual exploitation. Click here to learn how to submit proposals for grants.

A global crime
"Online child sexual exploitation is a global crime that transcends borders, and demands a global response," said Baroness Joanna Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security. "This important new fund will help tackle this abhorrent crime and protect children no matter where they live in the world. I encourage countries and organizations to seek this funding, and to support the fund’s work to tackle the violence our children face online, in their everyday lives, and in places affected by conflict and crisis."

During the launch event government ministers from Sweden, Mexico, Indonesia and Tanzania committed to developing specific plans that will combat violence against children, including:

  • Tackling behaviors and traditions that further violence
  • Making schools and institutions safe for all children
  • Strengthening data collection about violence and children

A new INSPIRE package of seven proven strategies to prevent violence against children, created with the World Health Organization and a number of other agencies, was also unveiled. You can download it here.

The Global Partnership premiered a new public service announcement featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson and international children’s peace prize winners from Liberia and the Philippines. It tells the story of the impact of violence from the perspective of children.

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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