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Friday, 27 February 2015

Please Support UNICEF's Campaign To End Violence Against Children

With UNICEF Children's Champion David Wiltcher
UNICEF ( The United Nations Children's Fund) has launched a campaign to end violence against children worldwide. 2015 is a critical year as in September the UN Heads of Government are due to meet in New York in order to review a set of goals established in the year 2000 and to set new goals and targets. In that year a target proposal was drawn up which was never adopted in the final set of targets. It was:

16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children.

UNICEF is campaigning to get the 16.2 target adopted this time round in 2015. I shall be writing to Green Party leader Natalie Bennett asking her to champion this cause. I would ask Green Party members to tweet support for the UNICEF campaign, using the hash tag 'End Violence'.

The figures on violence towards children are truly disturbing.
Worldwide UNICEF advises that a child dies every five minutes as a result of violence which is around 100,000 per year. Countless more experience violence in war zones and within the UK there are examples such as trafficking, the Rotherham child abuse scandal, the death of Baby P and many more.
Around 120 million girls under the age of 20 have been subjected to forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. More than 125 million women have been subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting, mostly in childhood or early adolescence. Child prostitution in Thailand involved 800,000 children under the age of sixteen in 2004. According to Unicef there are 40,000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka and 6.4% of the country's child population gets pregnant.
The charity War Child that there are 250,000 child soldiers in the world (often forced into fighting) and that 40% of them are girls.
Nigeria has the largest number of young homicide victims, with almost 13,000 deaths in 2012, followed by Brazil with approximately 11,000.

Therefore the UK should ensure the target proposed to "end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children by 2030" (16.2) remains in its current form in the final post-2015 development framework.


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