Although there are at least 55 million children in Europe who experience some kind of violence each year, according to WHO incidents of interpersonal violence are widely unreported. According to the estimations, 9.6% of children under the age of 18 are victims of sexual abuse, 22.9% experience physical abuse, and 700 are murdered every year.
Besides the high financial cost of treatments, violence affects the victim’s adult life: it can lead to mental illness, drug and alcohol use and chronic disease. It also causes harm to the country’s well-being and economy.
Governments make efforts to fight against violence and most of the countries in the region developed an action plan, fewer than half of them are sufficiently funded.
WHO Europe’s Inspire package identifies strategies against violence. Ending violence against children is a main point of Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the European Region, WHO relies on Pathfinder countries. This problem is in the focus of an Estonian-hosted workshop of WHO Europe and partners. Experts, parliamentarians, and policy-makers in health share practices that help the implementation of the Inspire package. Bente Mikkelson, WHO Europe’s Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health. emphasized, that every sector can help to make society safer for children.
INSPIRE strategies promote
- Implementation and enforcement of laws
- Norms and values
- Safe environments
- Parent and caregiver support
- Income and economic strengthening
- Response and support services
- Education and life skills