Senate Introduces Resolution to End Violence Against Children Worldwide

Resolution condemns violence against children globally and calls for a solution.

Washington, D.C. – ChildFund, Futures Without Violence, Save the Children and World Vision applaud today’s introduction of S.Res. 606 by Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas and Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, calling on Congress to recognize the harmful impact that violence has on the healthy development of children and youth. S.Res. 606 condemns all forms of violence against children and youth globally – including physical, mental and sexual violence, neglect, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation. The introduction of the resolution lays the groundwork for future leadership and coordination across the U.S. government on this issue.

“Congress and the State Department have been working on multiple fronts to promote global economic development,” Boozman said, “but failure to address violence against children — horrific acts like trafficking and child labor as well as proximity to violent conflicts — threatens to undermine those efforts every step of the way. Senate passage of this bipartisan resolution would send a strong message that having a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy.”

“One measure of our common humanity is how we care for and support our children,” Cardin said. “In too many ways, we have come up short, particularly when it comes to protecting them from violence and keeping them safe. Senate passage of this resolution would encourage the U.S. government to create and begin implementing a strategy to prevent, address and end violence against children and youth globally, in line with the international standards and Sustainable Development Goals the international community aspires toward.”

Annually, more than 1 billion children worldwide are exposed to violence in their homes, schools and communities, according to World Health Organization reports. In schools, 246 million boys and girls experience gender-based violence, with girls at a higher risk of sexual violence, harassment and exploitation. School-related gender-based violence is a major obstacle to ensuring that all girls access basic education. Around the world, nearly one in three adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have been victims of violence. Left unaddressed, exposure to violence can impact a child’s learning, behavior and health for a lifetime.

The S.Res. 606 calls upon the U.S. government to develop and implement a coordinated strategy built upon evidence-based practices to reduce rates of violence against children, including the INSPIRE package of interventions developed by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank and others. S.Res. 606 also calls for common metrics and indicators that can be used by U.S. government agencies to monitor progress toward preventing, addressing and ending violence against children and youth globally.

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