Violence Against Children
UNICEF aims to reduce violence at home, at school, in communities and online, and to break the silence around this hidden epidemic
With our partners, UNICEF supports the implementation of the Violence against Children strategy and action plan. Regarding this:
- We promote non-violent disciplining through capacity building of key professionals, campaigns for behaviour change and advocacy for legislative and regulatory framework improvement.
- We support strengthening the efforts on child marriage prevention and response through leveraging and strengthening the advocacy capacities of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage.
- We are strengthening specialized professional capacities for supporting victims of violence, including innovative approaches to promotion of psychosocial and mental health assistance to the most vulnerable children.
Programme Area Goals
To enable caregivers and children to have the knowledge and means to seek support relating to violence against children, and professionals to have the capacity to provide inclusive, cross-sectoral support and rehabilitation, our specific goals include:
- That parents consistently and increasingly practice alternative, non-violent child disciplining.
- To improve response to and referral of individual violence against children cases between health, education and social welfare.
- To increase access to timely and quality specialized support and rehabilitation of child victims.
- To increased access for girls at risk of child marriage to coordinated prevention and support measures.
- To increase self-reporting of violence and decrease exposure of children to harmful content, including sexual exploitation online.
Our goal is that by 2025:
- 80 per cent of all case-managers and supervisors within the social welfare system are certified for non-violent, positive parenting.
- The proportion of victim-reported violence within the total number of reported cases of violence increases from 7.5 to 15 per cent.
- A national, multisectoral coordination mechanism to oversee implementation of national plans/strategies to prevent and respond to violence against children is functioning, with child and adolescent participation.
- The number of children, parents and primary caregivers provided with community-based psychosocial support and messaging increases from 6,451 to 114,451.
Intensified reporting of all forms of violence in recent years suggests an empowering awareness on the issue. However, prevention of and response to violence remain weak, with some of the most critical bottlenecks still to be addressed.
Negative social norms and beliefs, including on gender, shared by the general population, caregivers and service providers persist, perpetuating violent practices such as violent disciplining, violent conflict-resolution and child marriage.
Reluctance to self-report violence and to seek support is also partially driven by social norms and ‘normalization’ of violence, but also by the lack of trusted and safe reporting mechanisms.
There is a lack of survivor-centred, specialized, comprehensive support for child victims of violence, due to the lack of professional specialization and services. There is a need for building capacities of professionals from different sectors to provide multisectoral, coordinated support and rehabilitation to victims of violence in a way that responds to specific age and gender needs and considers social and cultural norms.
Cross-sectoral collaboration and raising awareness of child marriage as a form of violence against children is critical due to the severity of deprivation, demanding comprehensive monitoring and support.
- Development of programmes that address negative gender norms and support parents to practise non-violent disciplining, and capacity building of professionals reaching out to parents from social welfare, education and health.
- Scaling up local intersectoral cooperation to address individual cases of violence against children.
- Provision of technical support to strengthen professional capacities for quality and timely trauma-related interventions.
- Advocacy to end child marriage.
- Supporting evidence generation, leveraging resources with the private sector and intergovernmental exchanges about online protection.