The development of national policies and agendas is key to achieve real and sustainable progress in the prevention and elimination of violence against children. To be effective, they have to:
- be comprehensive
- mainstreamed in the national planning process,
- coordinated by a high level focal point with leading responsibilities in this area,
- supported by adequate human and financial resources, and effectively evaluated.
More and more countries are developing national strategies, action plans and road maps that take into account the complexity of violence and the role that the various parts of the government and other key actors play in eliminating it.
To support States in the development of national policies, the Council of Europe adopted a set of Policy Guidelines on Integrated National Strategies for the protection of children from Violence.
Examples of integrated policies recently adopted by States
The Core Commitments to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children in Cambodi awere presented by the government of Cambodia at the launch of the Findings from Cambodia’s Violence Against Children Survey (Oct. 22nd 2014) detailing the cross-sectorial commitments put forth by government ministries to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children.
The Hoja de Ruta Nacional 2015-2018 Para la Prevencion y Eliminacion de la Violencia Contra los Ninos, Ninas y Adolescentes en Republica Dominicana illustrates the governments firm commitment to eradicate all forms of violence against girls, boys and adolescents within the home, school, judicial institutions and community. This Road map for the prevention and elimination of violence against children contains concrete objectives, actions, community initiatives and programs to counter violence against children in each of these settings
The Child and Welfare Policy (adopted in November 2014) seeks to promote the wellbeing of children, prevents abuse and protects children from harm through the establishment of a well-structured and coordinated Child and Family Welfare system. The overall goal of the Policy is to help formulate child and family welfare programmes and activities to more effectively prevent and protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation through coordinated efforts; build the capacity of institutions and service providers to ensure quality services for children and reform existing legislation, as required. The Policy is guided by national and internationally recognized principles and priorities three areas of concern, namely: Child Protection issues stemming out of family-related challenges; Child maltreatment; and other protection issues concerning children, especially older children, that are not brought about by a third party but as a result of the child’s risk-taking behavior.
In Indonesia, the National Medium-Term Development Plan 2015-2019 in the field of human resource quality development has incorporated a special target of reducing the figure of violence against children. In order to unify the steps for prevention and respond of violence against children, the Government prepared the National Strategy for The Elimination of Violence Against Children 2016-2020. Its ambition is to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children in a systematic, integrated, evidence-based, coordinated, participatory manner, and in the best interest of the child.
The national strategy highlights six major areas of intervention: 1) Legislation and policies protecting children from all forms of violence in all backgrounds of violence incidents; 2) Changing social norms and cultural practices that accept, justify, or disregard violence; 3) Child care intervention supporting safe and loving relations to prevent violence; 4) Improving life skills and child self-survival in preventing violence and supporting compulsory education for children ; 5) Accessible and quality support services for victims, actors, and children at risk; and 6) Improved quality of data on violence situations toward children.
The National Plan of Action (NPA) for Vulnerable Children 2015-2019 aims at improving access to essential services by vulnerable children for their survival, protection and development to ensure the realization of their full rights and potentials. This includes capacity-building initiatives for families and communities; technical and institutional improvements to the social protection system ensuring equitable access to essential, quality services; legislative and policy reform; commitments on the part of national leaders and coordinated efforts across all sectors of society; advocating for the rights of vulnerable children to a supportive upbringing; and enhancing national capacity to monitor and assess the challenges for vulnerable youth, identify gaps, and guide adjustments.
In August 2017, Mexico launched its National plan of action to end violence against children Plan de Accion de Mexico The plan was developed through a wide participatory process and is aligned with the 2030 Agenda. It identifies critical priority actions, including legislative reforms to prohibit all forms of violence against children and address situations of bullying and child marriage. It also includes the establishment of counselling, complaint and reporting mechanisms on incidents of violence; the strengthening of coordination of actions; and support for children’s participation. The Plan includes an important assessment of children’s exposure to violence, as well as of children’s views and recommendations. As part of the implementation process of the National Plan, Mexico developed OPINNA, an online survey for children to collect their views and recommendations to inform the implementation of the National Plan.
The National Priority Agenda for Vulnerable Children 2013-2020 was put forth with six core commitment, to guide the multi-sectorial operationalization of the objectives and strategies of Nigeria’s Vision for 2020 which aim to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable children in Nigeria and to reduce child poverty. For the first time, a direct link was made between the imperative of preventing and responding to violence against children and its implication to sustainable development. Following the results of the violence against children survey carried out in Nigeria in 2014, a set priority actions were identified.
Childhood comes but once: National Strategy to Combat Violence and Sexual Abuse Against Children and Youth (2014-2017) Part I of Norway’s strategy, Childhood comes but once: National Strategy to Combat Violence and Sexual Abuse Against Children and Youth contains an overview of protective measures for children and adolescents and outlines the steps identified by the government to strengthen and further develop preventive efforts as well as the necessary processes to expose violence and sexual abuse in society. Part II of the strategy contains the references to the data on which the Government’s policies, strategies and measures are based.
A Good Childhood lasts a lifetime: Action Plan to Combat Violence and Sexual Abuse Against Children and Youth (2014-2017) The action plan A good childhood lasts a lifetime (2014-2017) includes 43 measures aimed at combating violence and sexual abuse against children and youth. The main objective of the plan is to prevent children and young people from being subjected to violence and sexual abuse in or outside their home and to provide early interventions to those exposed to violence and abuse. The action plan focuses on the following areas: Prevention and good parenting; The responsibility of the public authorities; Child and youth participation; Interdisciplinary cooperation and the voluntary sector; The right help and treatment at the right time; Research and expertise.
In July 2018, Panama launched its National Multisectorial Strategy for the Prevention of Violence against Children and Adolescents. The Plan is framed by the 2030 Agenda, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Study on Violence against Children. The Plan is the outcome of a participatory process that engaged national and local authorities, civil society actors and children themselves, including most vulnerable groups of children such children deprived of liberty in justice and care institutions. It was informed by evidence-based data and research conducted on violence related issues, including a situation analysis on the prevalence of violence in institutions supervised by the Government. The Plan includes clear objectives and strategic actions to prevent violence and foresees the development of tools and protocols to ensure a coordinated action of the national child protection system to protect children from violence; as well as, the creation of municipal mechanisms for the protection and empowerment of children and adolescents.
In 2017, Paraguay adopted a national plan for the protection of children against abuse and all forms of violence. The plan is the result of a multi stakeholder collaborative and participatory process. Its implementation is overseen by the National Commission for the Prevention and Response to Violence against Children. The Plan was informed by the voices of children and adolescents who will continue to have an active participation in its implementation, including by raising awareness of the various manifestations of violence and mechanisms for reporting violent incidents, promoting information about the plan among peers and families, and supporting advocacy efforts in municipalities and communities.
Plan Nacional de Accion por la Infancia y la Adolescencia 2012-2021 is the public policy document developed by the Peruvian state prioritizing action towards the integral development of Peruvian girls, boys and adolescents. The plan is made up of 8 chapters: the first outlines the conceptual framework of the plan; the second includes an analysis of the main problems and trends that sustain inequality and hinders the fulfillment of the rights of children in the country; the third chapter outlines the vision and mission of the plan; the fourth defines the strategic objectives, anticipated results, goals and indicators; the fifth explains how actions will be coordinated; the sixth explains the monitoring and evaluation system; the seventh presents the communication strategy and the final chapter corresponds to financial implications of the plan of action. The plan takes a special focus on outlining actions to eradicate systemic violations of children’s rights through acts of violence and exploitation.
In December 2016, Tanzania launched a new National Plan of Action to End Violence against Women and Children, which builds on the country’s initial response to the findings of the Violence Against Children data survey carried out in 2009 to advance implementation of the recommendations made by the UN Study in Violence against Children. The plan envisages improved national coordination efforts, delivery of quality services, and the application of innovative solutions to build a unified protection system for both women and children in pursuit of the country’s National Five Year Development Plan II, the 2030 Agenda and the African Union Commission’s Agenda 2063
In 2016, Tunisia launched the Politique Publique Integrée de Protection de l’Enfance, an integrated public policy on the protection of children, which will be implemented in the context of the national development plan for 2016-2020. The public policy is rooted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international legal standards and the Sustainable Development Goals.