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Violence against children

A refugee camp, El Salvador.

© OHCHR/Shaheen 1996

A refugee camp, El Salvador.

Responding to violence
A lot has already been done to prevent and respond to certain forms of violence against children. States have ratified international agreements to protect children and ensure their rights and, on the basis of these, have amended laws and developed national plans of action. Few states, though, have thoroughly reviewed their legal framework to address violence against children more effectively. Putting laws into practice also remains a challenge. Advocacy, awareness-raising and training have helped increase understanding of violence against children. There have been important initiatives in areas such as eliminating the worst forms of child labour, addressing female genital mutilation/cutting and providing services to children on the streets. Programmes to support parents and develop their parenting skills play a vital role in protecting children, and young people themselves are active in many ways in preventing and responding to violence. Despite all this, much remains to be done.