The European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) commends the UNICEF statistics on violence against children and the accompanying strategy document for the attention drawn to the scale and nature of the problem. The ECPM calls on national and states and international actors to take note of the UNICEF strategy recommendations and make a priority of addressing the issue of violence against children.
Violence against children has long-lasting negative effects on their development and wellbeing and a negative, costly impact for society. Children all over the world find themselves victims to different forms of violence and remain some of the most vulnerable members of our society. UNICEF identifies homicide, physical abuse and sexual abuse as being some of the leading forms of violence against children. Girls are particularly at risk of being victims of physical violence of some sort. The report finds that almost a quarter of girls worldwide aged 15-19 find themselves victims of a form of physical violence and about 1 in 10 girls of all ages victims of sexual abuse.
The European Union adopted a Directive providing measures for combating the sexual exploitation of children which has been in force since December 2013. So far only 13 of the 27 member states have fully implemented it.
The ECPM is appalled by the magnitude of the problem worldwide and urges decision makers and international actors to prioritise implementing effective measures to address all forms of violence against children. The ECPM particularly asks EU member states who have not yet fully implemented the EU Directive on combating violence against children to do so as soon as possible.