Regional conference on the prevention and elimination of violence against children to gather international experts in Sofia
The event will take place on June 27-28
Violence against children exists in every nation, community, ethnic or religious group, irrespective of the social status of the child or their family. Violence can happen anywhere, and no one is secure. The consequences of that can be enormous, both for the children and their families, and for society as a whole. The global economic cost of such violence amounts to some 7 trillion US dollars on an annual basis.
The high-level regional conference on "Smart investments in strategies and partnerships for preventing and eliminating violence against children" is organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian State Agency for Child Protection, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Child Protection Hub, and the Childhood without Violence Platform in Bulgaria.
140 experts and representatives of state institutions from 10 countries, as well as renowned academics from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Bulgaria, will participate in the regional conference.
The conference will review what measures for addressing violence exist globally as well as the actions taken by the countries in the region of Eastern and Southeastern Europe to deal with the issue. The main focus will be on the exchange of good practices and provenly effective and working expertise. The conference will also discuss the importance and need to collect detailed data and information about violence.
On a global scale, close to 1 billion minors aged between 2 and 17 have suffered physical violence or emotional or sexual abuse, according to WHO data for 2017.
In Europe, WHO estimated that 18 million children were victims of sexual abuse, 44 million children - of physical abuse affects, and mental abuse affected 55 million children in 2013. According to UNICEF, around half of all children in East and Central Europe and Central Asia experience violent discipline at home.
The global experience:
Aware of the long-term consequences of violence against children, the WHO, UNICEF and the other international organizations and partners have developed a tool, based on scientific evidence and good practices, to identify what really works in preventing and addressing violence against children and young people. INSPIRE targets everyone: from governments to parents, and from civil society to the private sector. Each country can take advantage of INSPIRE, provided that it is applied by means of a national program for action with the active involvement of all stakeholders: the government, civil society, parents, children and young people, the media, and the business community. A solution to the all-pervasive phenomenon of "violence against children and young people" requires nothing less than constructive dialogue and concerted action on the part of everyone.
Global Partnership to End Violence against Children:
In July 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and its Fund. The Partnership unites all stakeholders: governments, UN agencies, international organizations, parents, civil society, religious groups, the private sector, researchers, scholars and the children themselves. Its sole purpose is to end violence against all children. Every country can join the Partnership, thus gaining access to an abundance of resources (incl. financial) and specific, tested and working solutions.