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Violence Against Children – a study provides opportunity for children to be heard

© Prayas/2006
Prof. Pinheiro with rescued child victims of trafficking at Prayas Institute for Juvenile Justice, 16 February 2006, New Delhi.

Children in India (and those who love and care for children too) have a great opportunity to contribute to the landmark UN study on Violence Against Children.  The study is an effort to provide a detailed global picture of the nature, extent and causes of violence against children, and propose clear recommendations for action to prevent and reduce such violence.
The focus of the study will be on prevention strategies, in particular through the identification of best practices in prevention, including those designed by children.

The study defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual that results or is likely to result in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. The study also bases its understanding of violence on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The study was mandated by the General Assembly following which the Secretary-General appointed Independent Expert Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro to lead the study.  Prof. Pinheiro is a former Secretary of State for Human Rights of Brazil and has directed the country's Centre for the Study of Violence since 1990. 

The study will focus on the nature and extent of violence against children in five settings:
 The home and family
 Schools and educational settings
 Other institutional settings (orphanages, children in conflict with the law)
 The community and on the streets 
 Work situations
For each type of violence, the study will review what is known about the causes and associated risk and protective factors. Its focus will be on prevention strategies, in particular through the identification of best practices in prevention, including those designed by children.

© Prayas/2006
Prof. Pinheiro watching children perform in a school in New Delhi

Several cross-cutting issues that increase a child’s vulnerability to violence will also be considered in the report, including:
 Violence in the media and other virtual settings, including child pornography
 Traditional harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and early/forced marriage
 Violence against children from ethnic minorities, immigrant or migrant communities
 Violence against children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS
 Children as perpetrators of violence, including bullying
Children all over the world have participated at the Regional Consultations

More details of this study can be had from  www.violencestudy.org.
Your may go to the above website for  child-friendly version of the ‘concept paper’ and to  hear more about how children all over the world have participated at the Regional Consultations which have happened since the concept paper was written.
To talk about the Study and what we can all do to prevent violence in our own lives, go to Unicef’s Voices of Youth forums. To explore these topics further, take a look at the Child Rights Information Network website. www.crin.org
You may post your inputs to daher@sgsvac.org

 

 

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