October 13, 2020 | News | No Comments
Violence against children is a global epidemic in which a young person is killed by violent conflict every five minutes, according to a new study released Tuesday by U.K. branch of UNICEF.
The global assessment—titled “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence Against Children”—reveals that an estimated 345 children under the age of twenty-years-old die nearly every day across the world. According to the report, the vast majority of these young victims are killed outside war zones, indicating that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.
“This epidemic of violence against children feeds off silence. It grows when we soundlessly accept that this is just the way things are. Every five minutes, somewhere across the globe, a family loses a son or daughter to violence. This is intolerable – it must stop.” —Baroness Doreen Lawrence, justice campaigner
“We live in a world where some children are too scared to walk out of their own front doors or play on their streets,” said David Bull, executive director of UNICEF UK. “We want children living in fear to have a chance of feeling safe and secure.”
Among its findings, the report reveals that:
- children who are victims of violence have brain activity similar to soldiers exposed to combat
- a third of children who are victims of violence are likely to develop long-lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- those living in poverty are more likely to be victims of violence, wherever they live in the world.
- over 75 percent of child deaths due to violence each day are the result of interpersonal violence, rather than conflict
- a girl or boy aged between 0-19 dies as a result of violence every five minutes
The release of the study coincides with the launch of a new global effort by UNICEF, called the campaign, designed to curb the assault on young people by placing formalizing protocols that all nations can adopt. According to the group, only 41 countries have implemented an explicit legal ban on violence against children, while only two percent of countries have a comprehensive legal framework to prevent violence.
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