Publication Breaking the Cycle of Violence
In spite of an obligation under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the report by the Safe Families Safe Children coalition (SFSC) indicates national governments are failing to protect millions of children who continue to be humiliated, beaten, burned, sexually abused – and even killed – by the adults in their lives, their parents and carers.
Breaking the Cycle of Violence highlights how this failure to respond appropriately to the repeated exposure of society’s most vulnerable children to severe violence in their families is leading children to live on the streets, involvement in prostitution and child trafficking. Evidence recently published by the International NGO Advisory Council* highlights the negligible progress made since 2006 when the United Nations first documented the magnitude of violence against children and underlined the urgent need for reform‡.
The SFSC coalition is calling for:
· Targeted interventions for families traumatised by extreme exclusion, abuse and violence to prevent the cycle of abuse continuing with the next generation through long-term and therapeutic programmes
· Investment in training and better inter-agency coordination ensuring identification and earlier intervention for children at greatest risk
· Ring-fenced resources from donors and governments to specifically target children at high risk of violence in the home
Andy McCullough, Head of UK policy for SFSC member Railway Children, said: “Progress by many governments has been painfully slow. It is vital to resist the political pressures to be seen to “do something” and instead invest in approaches that support children to break free from the destructive legacy of family violence.”
The process of implementing SFSC’s call for appropriate strategies to end violence against children is set out in Breaking the cycle of violence using a framework of recognised best practice.
The report also warns of the clear link found between adverse experiences in childhood and physical and mental health issues, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, rape, and poor job performance later on in life.
Sylvia Reyes, Methodological Director for SFSC member and ICT partner Juconi Ecuador “Although it may seem complex to intervene, these children are victims of staggering levels of violence. The exponential damage caused by leaving them trapped in cycles of abuse, exclusion and poverty makes it not only a moral but also a social and economic imperative to create sustainable solutions”.
*Five years on: a global update on violence against children, NGO Advisory Council, 2011
‡Report on violence against children, United Nations, 2006
About Safe Families Safe Children
The SFSC coalition is an international group of renowned organisations working globally to research, develop and implement effective methodologies to enable the most excluded children to gain sustainable access to their rights and have their development needs met appropriately, including emotional and relational needs which greatly impact their future resilience and life outcomes.
SFSC Member organisations are:
Gurises Unidos, Uruguay
International Children's Trust, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka
Maltepe University Research and Application Centre for Street Children, Turkey
New Life, South Africa
Railway Children, UK, India, Kenya, Tanzania
Retrak, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya