World Vision International
Press Release • Wednesday, June 28th 2017

EU, young leaders and civil society join forces to end violence against girls

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  • European Commission preparing a ground-breaking initiative with the UN to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls
  • World Vision launches new global campaign to end violence against children

The EU is joining forces with girls, World Vision and other civil society organisations to bring an end to violence against children. Every year, one billion girls and boys experience violence. It happens in every country, city and community.  The economic costs alone are estimated at US$ 7 trillion a year.

“One of my class mates, aged 16, was given as child bride by her grandfather. He thought that would protect her from getting pregnant before marriage. She complained but her family abandoned her,” said Fatou, from Sénégal. “I am now engaging my local child protection committee to raise awareness of class mates, adults and local authorities”.  

Fatou and Samia, young leaders from Sénégal and Bangladesh, will be joined by EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, MEP Linda McAvan, as well as EU officials, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and civil society representatives, to raise their voices to end violence against girls, during a High-Level event.

Commissioner Mimica said: "Violence against girls is one of the greatest injustices of our time, which crosses all borders, generations, nationalities and communities. We need to join forces with girls all across the globe to end this violence for good!

Building on our strong record of investing in girls, we are currently working together with the United Nations on a ground-breaking initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls around the world. We intend to officially launch it in September – so join us to make this change happen!"

World Vision is also today launching its new global campaign, It Takes a World to End Violence Against Children. Creating a world free of violence against children is though beyond the reach of any one institution or organization and today’s event welcomed the establishment of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children which aims to bring together different actors to strengthen political will and accelerate progress to end violence against children.

The EU initiative and the new World Vision campaign come at the right time. A recent report by the Global Partnership, Counting Pennies, found that in 2015, of the total US$174 billion overseas development assistance, less than 0.6 per cent was allocated to ending violence against children.

“The stakes for ending violence against children could not be higher. If we don’t end violence against children now, we risk jeopardising the progress and losing the investments made in child survival, health and education,” said Trihadi Saptoadi, who leads World Vision’s programmes and policy internationally. “The cost of inaction is far higher than the cost of investing in actions to end violence against girls and boys.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Between January 2011 and March 2017, the EU has supported children's rights through all sectors of its external relations with over €8 billion in 142 developing countries – almost 10% of which was directly dedicated to tackling child labour, trafficking of children, supporting children in armed conflicts, preventing harmful practices and sexual exploitation, as well as other violence-related projects.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. It works in close to 100 countries in most regions of the world including Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific Region.

Over the next five years, World Vision’s ‘It Takes a World to end violence against children’ campaign will seek to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of boys and girls vulnerable to violence making a significant contribution toward Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16.

World Vision Brussels’ office represents World Vision members in 12 European countries, including 10 EU member states, as well as the wider international World Vision partnership.

For more information or an interview, please contact Ludovic Wahis, Policy and Communications Officer, World Vision Brussels & EU Representation, +32 (0) 2 274 18 67, Ludovic_Wahis@wvi.org