Violence against children remains widespread and pervasive and often wears a familiar face

New York, 3 November 2017 - The new UNICEF report, “A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents” makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the root causes, scale and impact of violence in children’s lives. The report presents the most current data on four specific forms of violence against children – violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. 

“I warmly welcome this important report and the sense of urgency it conveys for greater efforts to ensure that all children, especially the most vulnerable and voiceless, can enjoy a childhood free from violence and develop to their full potential”, highlighted SRSG Santos Pais. “The data gathered by this report reveals alarming levels of violence affecting very young children and the continuum of violence that countless millions endure as they grow up, often at the hands of people they know, trust and love. The ground breaking findings of this new UNICEF report renew the call made by the UN Study on Violence against Children for the development and further implementation of national plans and strategies to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children”, she added.

The 2006 UN Study on Violence against Children stressed the need for every country to develop a national plan to end all forms of violence against children, to enact strong legislation to ensure children’s effective protection, and to consolidate data systems and research to inform action and monitor progress. This has been a priority for the Special Representative since the beginning of her mandate and she remains fully committed to making this new data more widely known and used to advance progress towards target 16.2 and other violence-related targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in all countries of the world.

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