New Priority Among UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Violence Against Children

RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new priority infuses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
announced by the United Nations: Violence against children takes a
prominent place among the world’s next set of goals for addressing
extreme poverty, which replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
that expire in 2015.

The issue of child protection was a notable absence from the MDGs, one
that ChildFund Alliance (including its U.S. member, ChildFund
International) and other child-focused organizations sought to remedy as
2015 approached. With a unified voice, these NGOs have insisted that the
SDGs must call for an end to abuse, exploitation and all forms of
violence and torture of children.

The need for such an emphasis is urgent, as millions of girls and boys
in every country face violence every day. Worldwide, about 60 percent of
children ages 2-14 regularly experience physical punishment from their
caregivers; 85 million children are involved in hazardous work; and more
than 120 million girls have experienced sexual violence.

“Despite progress on many fronts since the Millennium Development Goals
were launched in 2000, violence against children around the world is
still at epidemic proportions,” said Anne Lynam Goddard, president and
CEO of ChildFund International. “Children everywhere have the right to
grow up free from the violence that too many of them experience every
day. We applaud U.N. member states for prioritizing violence against
children across the SDGs and look forward to partnering with
organizations, communities and children themselves to support the
implementation of these goals and hold governments accountable for their

Over the last three years, ChildFund Alliance has conducted extensive
research to learn what children themselves have to say about their
primary concerns, consulting with more than 16,000 children in 50
countries: Prevention of violence rose to the top. The children’s views
help clarify not only the extent to which they are subjected to violence
but also their strong investment in being part of the solution.

These findings also are the inspiration for ChildFund Alliance’s Free
From Violence campaign — a global effort that was created to ensure that
the protection of children from violence and exploitation would become a
priority in the new SDGs. More than 680,000 supporters worldwide signed
our petition calling for governments around the world to more
proactively address issues related to violence against children. The
campaign has been the centerpiece of the Alliance’s broader initiative
to better protect children from physical violence, abuse and other

ChildFund Alliance welcomes the inclusion of violence against children
in the SDGs and now calls on governments, the United Nations and civil
society to realize this vision through decisive actions and investments.

For more information about ChildFund Alliance’s campaign, please visit

ChildFund International is a global child development and protection
agency serving more than 18.2 million children and family members in 30
countries. For 75 years, we have helped the world’s deprived, excluded
and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential
and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund
Alliance, we create supportive environments in which children can
flourish. For more information about ChildFund, visit


ChildFund International
Betsy Edwards, 804-756-2722