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Combating Global Child Abuse and Neglect

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Combating Global Child Abuse and Neglect

In the U.S. , April was National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though many are aware of the global issues of child abuse and neglect due to war, famine and poverty, many in U.S. are now coming to grips with widespread abuse and neglect of children within our own borders.

The United Nations Secretary-General's Study on Violence against Children was a global effort to paint a detailed picture of the nature, extent and causes of violence against children, and to propose clear recommendations for action to prevention and response.

As a result the World Report on Violence against Children was launched in Geneva last November.

The report states that, “No violence against children is justifiable; all violence against children is preventable…Children's uniqueness — their potential and vulnerability, their dependence on adults — makes it imperative that they have more, not less, protection from violence.”

Joan van Niekerk is a clinical social worker and National Coordinator of Childline-South Africa. Childline focuses on the issues of abuse, neglect and abandonment and receives approximately 55,000 calls monthly across all the Provinces of South Africa.

Kimberly Svevo is Executive Director of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, a Chicago area group that brings together a worldwide cross-section of professionals to work towards prevention and treatment of child abuse, neglect and exploitation globally.

According to World Health Organization figures in 2002, nearly 225 million girls and boys under the age of 18 experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence.

Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world have undergone some form of female genital mutilation or cutting.

And in 2004, 218 million children were involved in child labor with a little more than half of those doing hazardous work.

Recently the government of India put out a report that said the 2 out of every three children in India have suffered some form of abuse.

Jerome asked Kimberly her response to the report.

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