Protect my Future - Why child protection matters in the post-2015 agenda?

Protect my future
Protect my future
The widespread failure to protect children is a global crisis, with 0.5-1.5 billion children experiencing violence each year (Pinheiro 2006), 150 million girls and 73 million boys who are raped or subject to sexual violence (WHO 2000), and 115 million children engaged in extremely harmful forms of work (ILO 2010). This global crisis represents a major violation of children's rights; an unacceptable situation, which must be remedied urgently, no matter what the costs. In addition to impacting on the current well-being of children, the widespread inadequate care and protection of children is also affecting the achievement of broader development objectives relating to child survival and health, education, economic growth and equity.

Many girls and boys die each year because they are abused, neglected or exploited. Vulnerable children that survive into adulthood can be at a significant disadvantage, with many experiencing developmental delays, gaps in their schooling and mental and physical health problems due to their maltreatment. The stigma, discrimination and diminished life chances faced by children who are abused, exploited and neglected exacerbates inequity. Whilst the resilience of such children can carry with it some advantage for societies, in general these boys and girls are not able to contribute to economies to their full potential. In addition to the damaging impacts on children themselves, the negative effects of child maltreatment on human capital, combined with the costs associated with responding to abuse and neglect, means that inadequate care and protection also hinders economic growth.

The alarming impacts of child protection failures are likely to grow in significance unless something is done urgently. Global trends such as climate change, migration and urbanisation are all increasing children's vulnerability and governments are not investing enough resources in building and maintaining comprehensive child protection systems. Children around the world want more support to enable them to grow up free from violence, and within caring, safe families.

It is therefore  essential that governments, UN agencies and other actors engaged in the design of the framework that will replace the current Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

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