"Investing in children from an early age and through a life cycle approach is vital for resilient and sustainable social, human, and economic growth"- SRSG Maalla M'jid at the opening of HLPF 2022

New York, 6 July 2022 - At the opening of the High-Level Political Forum 2022, under the theme Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development., Special Representative Maalla M'jid made a strong call for governments to integrate preventing and responding to violence against children into their economic growth and development strategies and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development plans, demonstrating why investing in the protection of children makes economic sense. 

"Investing in building back better and beyond in an inclusive, just, resilient and safe recovery for all children worldwide is needed more than ever. No country is immune, and no child is immune! The human and economic costs are big but the economic benefits of investing in child protection, development and wellbeing are even bigger" highlighted Dr. Maalla M'jid. 

In her remarks, Dr. Maalla M'jid stressed that children are often still left behind facing extreme poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion, forcibly displaced, fleeing conflicts, climate change and natural disasters, widespread violence, food insecurity and more exposed and vulnerable to criminal networks that are increasingly taking advantage of these vulnerabilities to sell, buy and exploit children 

Special Representative Maalla M'jid cited research showing that If all children stayed in school, the earnings of national workforce will be higher by 4 to 14% of national GDPs and that exposure to violence, stress, exclusion, and crises causes immediate and long-term physiological and psychological damage, which will cost up to $393 billion annually.

 "Investing in children from an early age and through a life cycle approach is vital for resilient and sustainable social, human, and economic growth. Worldwide, children are increasingly at the forefront of initiatives for positive and sustainable social change.  If we invest in empowerment of all children including through their active participation and engagement, we can bring enormous gains not only for children, but for societies at large." concluded Dr. Maalla M'jid.

UN webcast of the opening session

The Violence Prevention Dividend - Why Preventing Violence Against Children Makes Economic Sense

On the sidelines of the High-Level Political Forum, the office of the Special Representative joined a consortium of child-focused agencies to launch a study calling for increasing and improving investment in the prevention and response to violence against children.

"Additional investment in ending violence will mean a massive return on investment, according to a child-focused coalition.

According to the study conducted in partnership with six major children’s humanitarian agencies, the economic cost of violence against children could be as high as 8% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equating to trillions of US dollars and 5% of GDP nationally.

"Increasing pressure on public finances cannot be used to justify a lack of investment in children. Investing in children and empowering them as actors of change to build inclusive, healthy, peaceful, just and resilient societies is a key message of the advocacy brief we are launching today. "said the Special Representative in her opening remarks.

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