Messages of support

Ms. Marta Santos País, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

I would like to express my decisive support to the 2013 edition of the Campaign for 19 Days of Activism for the prevention of abuse and violence against children and youth. I particularly welcome this years’ theme on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which offers a strategic opportunity for children’s rights activists around the world to devote special attention to these forms of violence and rally around our global campaign to end all forms of violence against children.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography represent an ethical and legal imperative for the protection of children from violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, and from sale, economic exploitation, trafficking, or any other form of exploitation prejudicial to any aspect of the child’s welfare. Despite the wide ratification of these treaties, millions of children around the world see their fundamental rights undermined by different manifestations of violence, including in the context of prostitution and pornography, as well as trafficking for sexual purposes.

The Campaign for 19 Days of Activism and its important allies are a much needed resource to instill a sense of urgency in our efforts to end these serious child rights violations. I call on everyone to join the Campaign and help build a safe environment for the world’s children, an environment where violence against children may be part of a distant past. (2013)

  

Ms. Marta Santos País, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

I warmly welcome and wholeheartedly support the 2012 edition of the Campaign for 19 Days of Activism for the prevention of abuse and violence against children and youth. The Campaign has proved itself as a key platform to mobilize activists and grassroots organizations in all countries in our global effort to rid the world of all forms of violence against children, everywhere and at all times. I particularly welcome this year’s main theme on children affected by armed conflict. Armed conflict places a tremendous stress on societies and aggravates children’s vulnerability to violence. The recommendations of the 2006 United Nations Study on Violence against Children ask governments to take strong action to protect children from violence, in particular through the development of a comprehensive national agenda, the adoption of strong legislation to prohibit violence against children in all its forms and provide children with safe and accessible justice and counseling mechanisms, and the consolidation of a national system of data collection, analysis and dissemination, and a research agenda on violence against children to inform policy decisions and mobilization of resources to effectively prevent and address all forms of violence. Governments need our encouragement and support to meet these challenges. The resources and themes offered by the Campaign to activists worldwide offer a strategic menu for taking action to change the world for our children. I encourage everyone to join the Campaign and help realize a violence-free world for all children. (2012)

 

Child Soldiers International

We, at Child Soldiers International, warmly welcome the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) ‘19 Days of activism for the prevention of abuse and violence against children and youth’, which in 2012 focuses on children involved in armed conflict, and culminates on 19 November. Despite progress made in strengthening the international framework to prevent recruitment and use, and in responding to past use in conflict, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups across the globe. Many more children are also at risk of future recruitment and use because so many countries do not have the necessary laws, policies and practices to prevent this. Campaigns such as yours are a welcome reminder that this persistent scourge has not been eradicated, and that effective prevention is now an urgent priority. (2012)

 

Council of Europe

On behalf of the team in the Council of Europe Program “Building a Europe for and with Children” we would like to congratulate you for the great and thoughtful campaign that you have come up with in promoting the 1-19 November prevention campaign. It is a great pleasure to know that global and regional initiatives like these are promoted. This is especially important to us since our program has since 2006 concentrated in our 47 Member States on reducing all forms of violence against children and thus the campaign themes are very relevant to our program… We would like to express our support for this important campaign and congratulate the campaign team for its efforts to develop a coherent and high-impact campaign…” (2011)

 

Ms Marta Santos País, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

“ I warmly welcome and endorse the 19 Days of activism campaign for the prevention of abuse and violence against children and youth, which will culminate in the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, on 19 November. Violence against children remains a harsh reality for millions of children around the world. Violence takes place in all contexts, including where children are expected to enjoy a secure environment and special protection - in care institutions, in the school and also within the home. Children are exposed to intimidation, humiliation, physical aggression, abuse and exploitation, and the trauma they suffer remains hidden and often unaddressed. Younger children and children with disabilities are at special risk, having less ability to speak up and seek support, and also have a greater chance of suffering irreversible emotional and health damage. The 19 Days of activism campaign shows that we can all engage in meaningful action to help protect children from violence and prevent violence from happening in the first place. “ (2011)

 

Ms Marta Santos País, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children

“ I would like to commend the Women's World Summit Foundation - WWSF and its international coalition members and partners around the world for their constant commitment to the elimination of child abuse and violence. Their awareness raising and social mobilization initiatives for the prevention of all forms of child abuse and violence provide a critical support to my global mandate and to the implementation of the recommendations of the UN Study on Violence against Children. “ (2010)

“ I welcome the commemoration of the initiative on World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and Violence against Children, promoted in synergy with the international day for the Rights of the Child and the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This anniversary reminds us that much more needs to be done and that prevention is key in protecting children from violence in all its forms.” (19 novembre 2010 – Geneva Office of the United Nations)

“I would like to congratulate the Women’s World Summit Foundation for their strong commitment to the prevention of child abuse and for their steady advocacy in favor of the protection of children from all forms of violence.” (2009)

 

Jean Zermatten, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Director of the International Institute for the Rights of the Child IDE (Excerpt of the opening address at the annual WWSF Geneva conference

“Progress in prevention of child abuse” - 19 November 2009). “ [...] On behalf of Mrs. Yanghee Lee, President of the Committee of the Rights of the Child, I convey to all a very warm welcome and congratulate WWSF for this initiative launched in 2000 in reaction to an unacceptable pedophile statement in the press… I imagine that all of you assembled are involved in a long term perspective and I express the wish that the first 10 years will multiply and that I can come and celebrate the 20th anniversary of your campaign in 2020. Long life to your Foundation, I rejoice in its activities…”. (2009)

 

Prof. Jaap E. Doek, former Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and Special Rapporteur of the World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

“[...] With great appreciation for all the important work and your worldwide network of organizations is doing for prevention of violence against children. I wish you very healthy and productive 2009.” (2008)

 

Prof. Yanghee Lee, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

“On behalf of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, I would like to thank the Women’s World Summit Foundation for its dedication for the work of prevention of child abuse. [...] I believe in the importance of a proactive approach in stopping violence against children.” (2007)

 

Jean Zermatten, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Director of the International Institute for the Rights of the Child IDE

“ [...] We have to recognize the work done by WWSF (Women’s World Summit Foundation), an NGO we need to respect for its commitment for global prevention, for catalyzing innovative programs for prevention of child abuse thanks to its annual 4 Prize awards, and for making 19 November “The World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse”. I take pleasure in encouraging everyone among us to support its activities.” (2007)

 

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan

“Child abuse is a global problem – one that has no respect for boundaries of geography, culture, or creed. Every year, tens of thousands of children are murdered and millions more are brutalized, often by the very people who should love them most, and on whom their survival depends. Too often, the suffering of these innocent victims goes unnoticed and unaddressed, hidden behind closed curtains and doors of secrecy, silence and shame. That is why this World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse is so important. By raising awareness, we can help stop child abuse and neglect before they start.” (2006)

 

Prof. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Independent Expert responsible for the UN SG’s Study on Violence against Children

”The World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse reminds us of the importance of acting now to respond to children’s plight. Preventing violence is the most effective way to protect children - a radical change is needed to ensure that this priority is fully recognized and translated into action. The different strengths of all those who work for and with children must be combined in order to ensure the sea change we all aim to promote.” (2006)

“On November 2003, I will for the first time observe the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse [...]. Observance of the World Day is critical to ensuring that we address the problem of child abuse, but it also highlights the fact that violence against children is a global issue. I would like to congratulate the Women’s World Summit Foundation for organizing today’s Round Table and involving national NGO coalitions from around the world in the quest to eliminate child abuse. As you have recognized, no single organization can by itself provide the ongoing research and strategies required to create a culture of prevention. I encourage you to continue developing networks working to prevent child abuse, and look forward to future cooperation with you and your affiliates as the UN Study on Violence against Children progresses.” (2003)

 

Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“I support the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November. Tragically thousands of children are abused daily, often by those closest to them. I endorse this campaign enthusiastically and hope that many more will offer their support and encouragement.” (2005)

 

Prof. Jaap E. Doek, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

“Prevention of Child Abuse is one of the major global challenges in the efforts to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I therefore fully support the important awareness raising and other activities of the Women's World Summit Foundation with a view to make prevention of child abuse a reality. Join us on November 19 and on every other day of the year for the prevention of child abuse.” (2005)

“On behalf of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, I first like to use this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for the initiative of the Women’s World Summit Foundation to mobilize the international and national NGOs and others in marking November 19 as the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse.” (2004)

 

Samuel Kobia, General Secretary, World Council of Churches

“The World Council of Churches endorses the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November as a means to help raise awareness about this serious problem and to mobilize churches and ecumenical organizations to work together with civil society to protect children from abuse.” (2005)

 

Vernor Muñoz Villalobos, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

“… the contribution of the Women’s World Summit Foundation WWSF must serve as an example and inspiration for all, not only because this Foundation has wisely conjugated the gender perspective with the necessities of our time, but also because its commitment goes beyond words. […] Thank you very much for supporting the most important inhabitants of the planet.” (2004)

 

Juan Miguel Petit, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

“I am honoured to address all the organizations, experts, professionals, educators and human rights activists gathered together to mark the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. I commend the Women’s World Summit Foundation for organizing this important event and for taking the initiative of creating an award for innovative prevention initiatives. Prevention is the key word in social policies, even more so when we talk of children. In my work as Special Rapporteur I encounter everyday evidence for this. Policies and programs addressing the problems falling within my mandate, namely trafficking of children and child sexual exploitation, cannot be effective if they do not tackle the root causes and contributing factors of the problems. This means a strong investment in prevention.” (2004)

“I would like to thank you again for your tireless efforts to campaign against the sexual exploitation of children, both girls and boys, and to expose the usually hidden scourge of domestic child abuse... On this important day, I would like to invite you to consider how best we all, working as a team, can strengthen our efforts in this area, and to share your ideas with me. I wish you every success in your endeavours today and throughout the course of the coming year.” (2002)

“It is largely thanks to the work of NGOs that the issue of child abuse is now on the international agenda […]. We must continue the fight in order to ensure that this concern results in concrete changes […]. On this day of commitment and reflection […]. I invite you to continue to provide me with information, which will enable me to carry out my mandate, and intervene […]” (2001)

 

Kofi A. Annan, United Nations Secretary General

“ … would have liked to participate in this important event which will focus on the prevention of child abuse and the rights of the child. He welcomes your advocacy on behalf of the world’s children […]” (2001)