Summit Commits to Ending Violence Against Children, Achieving SDG 16.2
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The ‘Agenda 2030 for Children: End Violence Solutions Summit’ underscored the importance of shifting the world’s focus towards the prevention of violence against children.

In a Proclamation, Summit participants called for placing all children at the center of the 2030 Agenda and for reviewing progress at the 2019 session of the HLPF.

15 February 2018: Participants at the ‘Agenda 2030 for Children: End Violence Solutions Summit’ renewed their commitment to end violence against children by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.2. The conference resulted in the ‘Stockholm Summit Solutions Proclamation,’ which underscores the importance of shifting the focus towards preventing violence against children.

The Summit brought together government ministers, UN leaders, youth delegates and representatives of the private sector, civil society and religious groups from 67 countries for the first-ever high-level conference on ending violence against children. The Summit aimed to raise awareness about children’s protection from violence and increase commitments to act. It also sought to showcase solutions from around the world, celebrate “pathfinder” countries’ success, and encourage new partners to join the movement to end violence against children. The Government of Sweden hosted the Summit, which convened in Stockholm, Sweden, from 14-15 February 2018.

SDG target 16.2 is to “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.” In 2016, governments, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), and other stakeholders launched the ‘Global Partnership to End Violence against Children’ to build political will, accelerate action, and strengthen collaboration towards this target. The Partnership’s “pathfinding” countries commit to three to five years of accelerated action towards SDG target 16.2.

Countries that fail to address violence against children will lag behind on a wide range of indicators.

UN Deputy-Secretary General Amina Mohammed observed that young people identified ending violence against children as one of their top priorities for the 2030 Agenda. She said the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) showed that countries that fail to address violence against children “will lag behind on a wide range of indicators.” Mohammed stressed that the 2030 Agenda offers an opportunity “to end all forms of violence against children and build safe, just, and inclusive societies for all.” As a starting point, Mohammed urged strengthening the collection, analysis, and use of data on violence against children, noting that 14 countries have completed national household surveys on the prevalence of it and another 10 countries are in the process of doing so.

Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, called on all leaders to “step up” to ensure that the summit’s solutions “lead to permanent change” and end violence against children. Sweden’s Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Åsa Regnér, highlighted the “clear link between gender equality, violence against women, and violence against children” and urged placing all children at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Virginia Gamba, addressed the role of children in conflict. She stressed that action plans have produced “viable results” and called for focusing on preventing conflict and violence.

The Summit celebrated commitments by the End Violence pathfinder countries, including Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzania, to accelerate action to eliminate violence against children in communities, schools, and homes. The UK reiterated its commitment and also said it will work to tackle sexual exploitation within the aid sector. Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) committed to becoming pathfinder countries.

The Summit Proclamation highlights an emerging consensus on the need for a systematic, holistic approach defined in “INSPIRE”, the seven strategies that provide a framework for ending violence against children. These strategies are: implementation and enforcement of laws; norms and values; safe environments; parent and caregiver support; income and economic strengthening; response and support services; and education and life skills. The Proclamation highlights INSPIRE strategies as a guide on how to prevent, detect and treat violence and accelerate implementation of strategies to end violence against children.

The Proclamation also urges leaders of government, international organizations, the private sector and civil society to take action and engage in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. It further stresses that leaders need to improve coordination and cooperation between different actors and policy areas. The Proclamation recommends the global community develop and share solutions and best practices to defend the safety, integrity, and dignity of all children in every setting, including cyberspace. It also calls for increased investment to address violence against children. Finally, the Proclamation urges placing all children, especially the most vulnerable, at the center of the 2030 Agenda, and it calls for a review of progress at the 2019 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). [UNRIC Press Release] [UN Deputy-Secretary General Statement] [Stockholm Summit Solutions Proclamation] [Global Partnership to End Violence against Children] [End Violence against Children Press Release]

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