By Edward Mukaro
A shocking report by the United Nations has revealed that around 40.000 children were victims of homicide, in 2017, alone.
The Global Status Report on Preventing Violence Against Children 2020, the first of its kind, has among other statistics brought to light the sad statistics, which among others show that over one billion children worldwide have faced abuse because countries have failed to protect them from perpetrators.
Each year children have been affected by physical, sexual, or psychological violence, disability, and to some extent leading to death.
With the globe going into lockdown – at the turn of the year – as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID- 19 scourge, children have been unable to go to school, leaving them exposed at the mercy of their abusers.
Children have also become homicide victims in the process.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “Violence against children has always been pervasive, and now things could be getting much worse.
“Lockdowns, school closures and movement restrictions have left far too many children stuck with their abusers, without the safe space that school would normally offer.
“It is urgent to scale up efforts to protect children during these times and beyond, including by designating social service workers as essential and strengthening child helplines.”
The Global Status Report on Prevention Violence Against Children 2020, states ‘the first ever-global homicide estimates specifically for children under 18 years of age-previous estimates were based on data that included 18 to 19year olds. It further states that, in 2017, around 40.000 children were victims of homicide.
According to the report by the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, UNESCO, the Special Representative of the UN secretary-general on Violence and against Children and the End Violence Partnership.
“There is never any excuse for violence against.
“We have evidence-based tools to prevent it, which we urge all countries to implement. Protecting the health and well-being of children is central to protecting our collective health and well-being, now and for the future,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom.
Global Status Report on Preventing Violence against Children 2020, a first of its kind, shows the progress made in 155 countries against the “INSPIRE” framework, a set of seven strategies for preventing and responding to violence against children.
The UN, however, acknowledged nations for having laws that seek to protect children from violence, but noted the sad reality on the ground reflected that only a few of the bunch have managed to strongly enforce these laws.
“While nearly all countries (88%) have key laws in place to protect children against violence, less than half of countries (47%) said these were being strongly enforced.”
By Edward Mukaro