Alliance Leader Participates in Child Protection Forum
Protecting children from
violence was the focus of a special panel convened by the governments of Canada
and Liberia on March 25. "The Prevention of Violence Against Children and Its
Place in the Post-2015 Agenda" meeting took place in New York at UNICEF
Julia Duncan Cassell,
Liberia's minister of gender and development, and Margaret Biggs, president of
the Canadian International Development Agency, welcomed representatives of 49
governments and leading nongovernmental organizations.
Secretary-General Jim Emerson spoke on behalf of ChildFund and other peer
organizations, including Family for Every Child, Plan International, Save the
Children, UNICEF and World Vision International.
Other members of the
panel included the deputy executive director of UNICEF, Martin Mogwanja; the
U.N. Secretary-General's special representative on violence against children,
Marta Santos Pais; the global director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign, Corinne
Woods; and the USAID special adviser and senior coordinator on children in
adversity, Neil Boothby.
"Thanks to the efforts
of national governments and the international community, more children than ever
before are being saved from preventable diseases," said Emerson in an opening
statement. "More children are in schools and in safe, permanent environments —
their access to clean water and sanitary facilities improving dramatically. As
countries develop economically, children's basics are increasingly being better
"But what are we saving
children from, unless we can guarantee their protection so they can grow, thrive
and engage as active citizens in their families and communities across every
stage of the life cycle? The protection of children and the promotion of their
well-being is closely linked to the development of any society."
Looking beyond the
Millennium Development Goals' target date of 2015, the panel exchange provided
an opportunity for participants to address the child protection work that still
will be needed in developing countries.
Emerson pointed out
ongoing, worldwide child protection issues and called for action: "115 million
children are working in the worst forms of child labor, and an estimated 150
million girls and 73 million boys under 18 are raped or subject to sexual
violence. Three out of four children experience violent discipline at home. Over
2 million children around the world live in care institutions. At least 80
percent of these have one or both parents who are alive," he said.
"This global crisis will
only be resolved if governments, U.N. agencies and other actors engaged in the
framework to develop the post-2015 agenda ensure that the protection of children
from violence, abuse and exploitation is realized."