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UNICEF to lead a system wide initiative for a Global Partnership to end violence against children
Addis Ababa – July 13, 2015 – At the Financing for Development Conference, a four day conference in Ethiopia, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais, along with the UNICEF Executive Director, Mr. Tony Lake, hosted an event to announce the creation of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. The Associate Director for UNICEF’s Child Protection Programme, Ms. Susan Bissell, has been asked by Mr. Lake to lead the transition team to establish the global partnership to protect children from violence.
One core belief of the Partnership is that “no violence against children is justifiable; all violence is preventable.” The fund works to “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against children,” as stated in Sustainable Development Goal 16.2. It also aims to address a variety of issues and achieve multiple SDGs. This includes protecting all women and girls from trafficking and exploitation, ending child, early, and forced marriage, stopping female genital mutilation, ending the use of child labor and child soldiers, and giving everyone safe, non-violent, inclusive, and effective learning environments. In addition, the fund hopes to encourage safer cities and to promote legal identity and documentation for everyone, which includes birth registrations.
This new partnership is absolutely crucial in addressing SDG 16.2, in addition to the other SDGs. Research has proven that violence against children can contribute to significant economic losses, which can be as high as 2-8% of GDP, and at the same time it can decrease the value of investments in child survival, development, education, and protection.
In order for the Partnership to succeed, it is imperative to unite on a common agenda, present convincing solutions to solve urgent issues, and identify the best opportunities to have the greatest impact possible. It is also important that the Partnership sets realistic goals for practical time frames.
The principles of the initiative include:
- No child should live in fear; all children have a right to be heard
- No violence is justifiable; all violence is preventable
- We must all take responsibility for ending violence against children
- An open platform that enables us to work together effectively to prevent violence
- Mutual accountability for demonstrating that children are safer
- Prepared to do things differently, to share lessons and improve
With these guidelines and standards, the Partnership is on the path to create a safer world for all. The Global Partnerships Forum is delighted to be part of this important initiative.
To kick off the discussions, Mr. Ted Chaiban, Director of the Programme Division of UNICEF, is hosting a series of strategic dialogues with stakeholders and prospective partners in London and New York to explore options for the design and launch of the Global Partnerships to End Violence Against Children. These discussions benefit from the research provided by Professor David Steven, Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.
For more information on the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, please click here.
For a preview of the website for the Global Partnership, please click here.