Stockholm Solutions Summit: Ending violence against children by 2030 is possible and everyone is accountable
STOCKHOLM, 15 February 2018 – Leaders and representatives from the United Nations, government, civil society and the private sector renewed their commitment to ending violence against children by 2030 at the first-ever End Violence Solutions Summit which concluded in Stockholm today.
A child dies from violence every five minutes worldwide, and at least 1 billion children endure some sort of physical, sexual or emotional violence every year.
The Summit, hosted by the Swedish Government, in cooperation with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the WePROTECT Global Alliance, sought to demonstrate leadership, build political will and increase knowledge on how to prevent, detect and treat violence against children – a global priority set out in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In his opening speech, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven urged all leaders to step up when it comes to children’s rights. “Step up to give every girl and boy the opportunity to grow up to be a strong and confident individual,” he said. “Step up to ensure that the solutions presented at this summit will not end up as just high-sounding words or as broken dreams, but lead to permanent change. Step up to keep our promise: to end violence against children in our time.”
In total 386 participants from 67 countries united behind a global, national and local movement to protect children from violence, based on increased political will, accelerated action and strengthened collaboration.
“We have never seen so many senior leaders come together to prevent and respond to violence against children,” said Susan Bissell, Founding Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. “No longer is this a forgotten issue. This summit is the start of the bold and transformative change that will deliver the Sustainable Development Goal to end all forms of violence.”
The Summit celebrated the commitment of the End Violence pathfinder countries, including Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzanian, whose leadership is at the core of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. Pathfinder countries commit to accelerated action to eliminate violence against children in various settings, at home, at school and in communities. During the Summit, both Japan and The United Arab Emirates made a commitment to become pathfinder countries, with Brazil expressing interest too.
The United Kingdom reinforced its commitment to end violence against children, and specifically to tackle sexual exploitation within the aid sector. The Secretary of State for International Development will host a safeguarding summit with representatives across the aid sector.
Ernie Allen, Chair of WePROTECT Global Alliance, encouraged donor countries to step up their financial and political support to combat online child sexual exploitation. “I am proud of the progress we have made. We are building awareness and capacity to keep children safe all over the world. But there is so much more to be done. Our ambitious goal is to end violence against children by 2030. Join WePROTECT Global Alliance to fight against online child sexual exploitation” he asked.
In her closing remarks, Swedish Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér emphasized the need to keep learning from one another, support each other and accelerate action both globally and at home. “We, the global community, need to demonstrate leadership, build knowledge, develop and share solutions, invest more resources and place all children – especially the most vulnerable – at the heart of Agenda 2030,” she said. “Let us do all we can to ensure that every child, everywhere, can live a life free from violence.”
- ENDS -
Photo credit: Jessica Gow, Government Offices of Sweden.