A woman carrying her child stands beside her devastated house in Dhaka
A woman carrying her child stands beside her fire devastated house in Dhaka October 13, 2006. About 500 buildings, including small factories and houses, burned in a fire that was caused by an electrical short circuit on Thursday, the fire service and police said. REUTERS/RAFIQUR RAHMAN
World Vision Calls for Special UN Representative for Abused Children · Millions of Children are Subject to Violence Regularly, UN Report Shows
New York, Oct. 12 - World leaders must take a stand against the abuse and exploitation of children documented in a study released this week, said the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision.
The United Nations today released a detailed global report on the nature and extent of violence against children, with clear recommendations for prevention and response. World Vision, a child-focused Christian relief and development organization working in nearly 100 countries, contributed to the "Study of Violence Against Children," along with UN agencies and 136 governments. World Vision endorses the report and calls on the UN to appoint a special representative who will fight for the protection of abused children globally.
Some 225 million boys and girls younger than 18 are forced to have sex against their will, according to World Health Organization estimates, while an estimated 3 million girls and women in Africa are subjected to the harmful traditional practice of mutilation each year. Almost 2 million children are used in prostitution or pornography, the report said. Violence against children - and the damage it inflicts -- extends beyond physical assault such as beating or hitting, and also includes neglect, humiliation and exploitation.
"The world now has a global picture of how children are suffering violence, and it's a stark reminder of the need for concerted focus and action to protect them," said Joseph Mettimano, World Vision's director of public policy and advocacy for children in crisis. "Leadership on this issue is greatly needed, to speak out on behalf of children who daily face brutality and neglect."
"This issue strikes at the core of human decency."
There is precedent for appointing a special representative on issues affecting children. The UN General Assembly responded to a 1997 study, "The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children," by adopting a resolution recommending the Secretary-General appoint a special representative on the impact of armed conflict on children.
World Vision's work, ranging from long-term community economic development programs to the Child Sex Tourism Prevention Project, is dedicated to helping children and their families live life in all its fullness.
For interviews with specialists on domestic and sexual violence against children, contact: Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz at 202.572.6302 or Brian Peterson at 407.445.6484 or 407.491.2399.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Also see: World Vision