Children have the right to live without violence and are leading a global movement to share their stories and solutions. It takes a world to listen.
"Many parents and adults are convinced that without using physical force it is impossible to discipline a child. Our country even has a popular statement that says “a child who is bought up without punishment is like a curry that’s cooked without being stirred.” This goes on to emphasize children as unworthy and worthless and makes us feel insignificant and this hurts our feelings a lot. As a solution I’d like to suggest that the laws and regulations in physically punishing and violating children should be tightened and followed by everyone. This will bring some form of order and control in our communities and we children will be able to grow in a happier and safer environment."
-Shamindu,13, Sri Lanka
"I fear that we will unconsciously repeat our parents’ behavior – use violence to solve our problems. I urge that parents use constructive advice and encouraging words to teach us instead of physical discipline and punishment. I believe together with my friends, classmates and schoolmates, we will be able to change our parents’ perception that gives importance to physical violence in child upbringing. I hope that there will be more platforms for us to share about this issue with local officials, with parents and with adults in general, so that every member in the community will partake in actions to end physical violence against children."
-Quynh, 13, Vietnam
"The whole world is needed to end violence against children because, there is a saying -- nothing comes from one man's head. So when children are involved, adults are involved, girls, women, old men are all involved. I think violence can be ended against children."
-Abigail, 13, Ghana
“My parents used to beat me and dad was very aggressive with mom, she could have been another victim on the news. One of her friends invited her to a conference of World Vision which helped her to change that situation of violence. As a child well-being promoter, mom took my dad to World Vision Peru ́s workshops and now he is not violent. They both used to yell at me, but they do not do it with my little sisters: they just talk to them. When I was 9, mom took me to a youth group and I was very shy, but now I feel that I am free to express my opinion... [now], I want to be a lawyer to put up drastic penalties for aggressors and help children who are not being heard.”
-Paola, 16, Peru
"Child marriage is WRONG and is one of the most common forms of violence in our kind of country. In Senegal, every year, thousands of children (especially girls) are married off before the age of 15 against their will – they do not want to be married. They are abused, they fall pregnant and leave school. None of which they wanted… I remember one girl in particular -- she was in my community, 13 years old and in 4th class. During one of the awareness building campaigns she made a plea for putting an end to child marriage – while at the same time her father was arranging her marriage. She died 3 months later following an abortion of a three month pregnancy. So when I see this, I stand up and gather together with my fellow children and young people and ask the decision makers to put sanctions in place for those who commit violence against children and also to put in place a legal framework where children can be heard and express their wish and demand that their rights be respected."
-Fatou, 17, Senegal