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Half of world's children affected by violence: UN report
update:June 19,2020
UNITED NATIONS, June 19,2020 -- Half of the world's children, or approximately 1 billion in number, are affected by physical, sexual or psychological violence, suffering injuries, disabilities and death, because countries have failed to follow established strategies to protect them, said a UN report on Thursday.
The Global Status Report on Preventing Violence Against Children 2020, which covered 155 countries, found that while 88 percent of countries have key laws in place to protect children, only 47 percent said they were strongly enforced.
The report also included the first-ever global homicide estimates for children under 18 years of age. The report found that around 40,000 children were victims of homicide in 2017.
"Violence against children has always been pervasive and now things could be getting much worse," said Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UN Children's Fund, in a press release.
"Lockdowns, school closures and movement restrictions have left far too many children stuck with their abusers, without the safe space that school would normally offer," she said. "It is urgent to scale up efforts to protect children during these times and beyond, including by designating social service workers as essential and strengthening child helplines."
While around 83 percent of countries have national data on violence against children, only 21 percent used the information to set baselines and national targets to prevent and respond to violence against children, the report said.
With about 80 percent of countries having national plans of action and policies, only one-fifth have plans that are fully funded or have measurable targets. A lack of funding combined with inadequate professional capacity are likely contributing factors and a reason why implementation has been slow, according to the report.
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