Why a World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse?
Together, let us create a culture of prevention
Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a universal and alarming problem and increased attention and efficient protection skills and prevention measures are necessary at family-, local-, national- and international level.
After a long tradition of silence, sexual child abuse is being more and more denounced and becoming a public and political topic.
Alerting Governments and civil society organizations to play a more active role in the promotion of and respect for the rights of the child (article 19 and 34* of the Convention on the Rights of the Child), and contribute to the prevention of child abuse, WWSF launched in 2000 the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, a Day to be commemorated every 19 November in synergy with the anniversary of the International Day for the rights of the child (20 November) which has as its objective to be a rallying point around the issue of child abuse and the need for urgent effective prevention programs.
To make the Day a global call for action, WWSF launched in 2001 an international NGO coalition that marks the World Day with appropriate events and activities to focus on and increase prevention education.
* Art. 19 - States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
* ART. 34 - States Parties undertake to
protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate
national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:
Why a NGO Coalition to mark World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse?
The main purpose of the NGO Coalition is to contribute to the creation of a culture of prevention of child abuse and form a global partnership network to raise awareness, mobilise public opinion and action, and disseminate prevention programs.
To join the Coalition, members commit to mark the Day with local and national events and activities; mention the Day in their publications and on their web sites; distribute posters, educational programs and information; create partnerships with local organisations working for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, alert the press and radio stations, inform local authorities of the existence of the Day and planned activities, and lobby governments for official proclamation of the Day as a National Day.
In 2001, the international NGO coalition united 149 organizations in more than 60 countries. Each one marked the Day with either local or national activities and events. The different activities are compiled in a published impact report. To view the report, click here.
We encourage international and national organizations to join and support the Coalition. There is no membership fee to join.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse?
Every year over 1 million children are pulled into the sex trade. Almost daily we hear of new child abuses, and even employees of respected international institutions have been found to be involved in sexual abuse. It is clear that an intelligent and effective approach to this problem consists in increasing prevention measures and protective skills, raising public awareness and encourageing denunciation of abuse.
What difference does the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse make?
In 2001, 150 NGOs joined an international coalition to mark the Day with public awareness campaigns and prevention education. More than 100 organizations sent reports of local and national events organized on 19 November. They are part of an emerging movement for the creation of a culture of prevention. The Republic of Costa Rica is the first country that declared by Presidential Decree 19 November a National Day.