Global Partnership to End Violence against Children

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Violence against children is rising but the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children is working hard to eliminate the scourge it in many countries including Nigeria

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Dec 12, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT  |

TEN years after the launch of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, violence against children across the world is still on the increase. This is partly the reason the last quarter of 2016 is an active period for the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, GPFEVAC. The Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence against Children is working for a world where every child grows up free from violence.

The Partnership aims to support achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, SDG16.2 – end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children – and other relevant SDG targets. These include targets that seek an end to violence against women and girls (SDG5.2 and 5.3), an end to the economic exploitation of children (SDG8.7), as well as those that aim to keep children safe in schools and communities, and to promote peace and non-violence (SDG4.a, 4.7, 11.2 and 11.7).

The partnership’s three goals will help accelerate action and implement work at scale, sharing and implementing evidence-based strategies by building political will, working with countries to accelerate action to tackle the violence faced by children, and strengthening collaboration between countries.

Through the SDGs, all countries have made a commitment to ending violence against children. In line with the principle of inclusivity, the partnership will provide a platform for any country that is prepared to take action to meet this commitment.

In the early years of agenda 2030, however, a group of pathfinder countries will make a central contribution to the partnership, based on their wish to be leaders in ending violence against children and delivering SDG16.2 and related targets.

Pathfinder countries should be committed to providing comprehensive, co-ordinated and multi-sectoral services for preventing and responding to violence. They should be prepared to strengthen legislation to protect children from all forms of violence and exploitation and bring all sectors together in a movement to end violence and provide children with a meaningful role at the heart of that movement.

Pathfinders pioneer should device new approaches to preventing and addressing violence, drawing where appropriate on INSPIRE, the ‘package’ of seven strategies for ending violence against children. They should address the many factors that leave children vulnerable to violence, assess evidence for what works, and bring together the investment needed to make their societies safer for children.

Given the universal nature of the agenda, pathfinders represent a broad spectrum of countries, and marginalised children are targeted in all those countries. The partnership has been working intensively with potential pathfinder countries, supporting governments as they explore how best to implement the SDG targets for ending violence against children.

At the launch, the partnership is proud to announce the roadmaps of the first four pathfinder countries: Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzania. These do not duplicate existing strategies or plans, but set out high level commitments for how the country will accelerate its efforts to end violence against children.

The following countries have already initiated steps toward pathfinding within the Partnership. They are El Salvador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. The Partnership are making progress and working with partners and countries in aligning efforts to achieve SDG 16.2 and related targets.

On October 25, President Muhammadu Buhari launched an ambitious campaign to end violence against children by 2030. Millions of children suffer some form of physical, emotional or sexual violence every year in Nigeria. A survey carried out last year by the National Population Commission, with support from UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that approximately six out of 10 Nigerian children experience one of these forms of violence before they reach 18.

The 20End Violence against Children campaign, supported by UNICEF and USAID, builds and expands on the success of just-ended Year of Action to End Violence against Children, launched by the President in September 2015. During the Year of Action, Lagos, Cross River, Benue and Plateau States all heeded the President’s call to launch their own State campaigns. Bayelsa became the 23rd State in Nigeria to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act and nine States joined hands to develop a model child protection system to put the Child’s Rights Act into practice.

The Sustainable Development Goals, agreed last month by all members of the United Nations, including Nigeria, called on every country in the world to end all forms of violence against children by 2030. “The Year of Action has created a wonderful momentum to end violence against children. We have a clear moral, legal and economic imperative and a global obligation to take action to end the suffering of children who live under the shadow of violence.” the president said.

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