UNICEF has launched unprecedented global research on violence against children, revealing for the first time the extent of violence faced by children around the world.
The report, Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children, showed 95,000 children died due to homicide in 2012 alone, yet worryingly, the place of highest incidence for violence against children was in the home and at the hands of caregivers.
The report, launched as part of UNICEF’s global #ENDviolence initiative, draws attention to the many forms of violence children experience and recognises violence happens to children everywhere, and not just in conflict hotspots.
Among the report’s key findings was the disturbing evidence that for children aged between two and 14:
six in 10, endured physical punishment inflicted by a parent or caregiver, on a regular basis;
four out of every five experience violent discipline in the home; and,
seven out of 10 children the violence experienced was psychological aggression.
More than a third of children were a victim of bullying by early adolescence and of children aged between 13 and 15, between 30 and 40 per cent reported being in a physical fight at least once during the past year.
While the report collates UNICEF’s largest data analysis on the subject and provides evidence that violence against children is everywhere and more common than previously recognised, the research also offers effective strategies and case studies to protect children from violence.
UNICEF has named six key strategies to eliminate children’s exposure to violence: namely supporting parents and families; building the life skills of adolescents to manage risks and challenges leading to violence; challenging attitudes toward violence and discrimination; promoting support services designed for children; implementing policies that support the protection of children; and, collecting data to aid policy planning and delivery.
“Violence begets violence. We know a child experiencing abuse is more likely to see violence as normal, even acceptable and more likely to perpetuate violence against his or her own children in the future,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said.
The report has been released in the 25th anniversary year of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which guarantees all children have the right to be protected from violence.
Source: UNICEF Australia