Churches Have a Role in Protecting Children

Churches Have a Role in Protecting Children

(Credit: Notizie Avventiste)

This was stressed at the presentation of the Global Report on the prevention of violence against children.

July 14, 2020 | Notizie Avventiste

On June 26, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO presented the new Global Report on the prevention of violence against children. Among the 2,500 participants at the online event, the press agency NEV informs that the intervention of Frederique Seidel, senior consultant of the ECC (Ecumenical Council of Churches) for children's rights, was very significant. He highlighted how leaders and religious communities can protect children from violence.

"For many children, religious communities are a refuge where they find moral and practical support," said Seidel who cited several initiatives put in place on this subject.

The Report reveals that 1 in 2 children in the world suffer some form of violence every year, with a total of 1 billion children. 300 million boys and girls between 2 and 4 years of age suffer psychological violence and/or corporal punishment. One in 4 children under 5 years of age live with a mother who is a victim of violence.

"It is alarming how the numbers of bullying, forced sexual contact, emotional and physical abuse, assaults or suicide attempts, can affect these children in their future as adults.  These kinds of experiences exhibit a greater risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of violence, this is alarming," says Nev.  

The economic costs of life-time consequences of violence against children are estimated at 228 billion dollars a year in the United States for child abuse alone; in South Africa at $13.5 billion for all forms of violence against children.

The Report collects and analyses the activities of 1,000 decision-makers, providing a snapshot of progress in countries towards global goals. The report also discusses Covid-19 and its impact on children worldwide, as pandemic isolation measures have led to an increase in violence and abuse, including domestic abuse.

"In the 352 pages of the report," concludes Nev, "it talks about the global state of childhood, the prevention and management of violence and abuse in the world, national action plans and inter-disciplinary collaboration, as well as strategies for the implementation of child protection and the fight against violence. Both from a regulatory and educational point of view, also through support to families, education, training for parents, caregivers, in all systems involved for the safety of girls and boys. In chapter 4, recommendations and conclusions, followed by data collection, with annex dealing with statistics by country and thematic area."

The Report is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

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