Road Map to Ending Violence Against Children Discussed in Yerevan
Armenia joins Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children as Pathfinder Country
Yerevan, 26 September 2018 – A high-level, two-day conference dedicated to the issue of violence against children launched in Yerevan today, the first such significant event after the country joined the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children in 2017.
As a pathfinder country that has accepted the obligation to take practical action on eliminating the problem, the road map being developed by the RA Government was the main topic at the conference. The event bore the slogan “Make the Invisible Visible” and focused on violence as a negative childhood experience as well as its destructive impact. The conference will pay particular attention to preventing violence from two points of view – general prevention and prevention through early detection. Various strategies were presented to end violence against girls and boys in the context of preventing and responding to acts of violence.
“Violence is a choice, and it is possible to prevent. There are often attempts to justify violence against children as a necessity or an unavoidable phenomenon, but there is a single truth here – violence against children is a violation of their rights that requires an immediate response,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan during her first visit to Armenia. “The significant gaps in the system for detecting and resolving cases of violence can be successfully filled only through the early detection of violence against children as well as steps to strengthen the interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination for the prevention and resolution of such acts.”
Recent data on violence against children in Armenia suggest that seven out of ten children aged 1-14 years has been subjected to physical or psychological violence. Psychological violence has been inflicted on 65% of children while 38% have suffered some form of corporal punishment. A violent method of discipline has been used with almost half of the children aged between one and two years.
Violence on children and adolescents—the most vulnerable members of our society—has a destructive impact on them, leading to a range of health-related and social problems. Violence at an early age can impede brain development and damage the nervous system as well as the endocrine, circulatory, musculoskeletal, reproductive, respiratory and immune systems, the consequences of which can continue to exist throughout the lives of these children.
The immediate and long-term public health consequences and economic costs of violence against girls and boys have a negative impact on the development of the country, depreciating investments in education, healthcare and children’s well-being overall, while decreasing the potential of future generations.
The conference is a step towards strengthening the resolve of the Republic of Armenia to ensure the protection of each child from violence in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Sustainable Development Goal 16.2, which seek to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.