(Pictured, left to right): Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF & Founding Co-chair, End Violence Board; Johan Dennelind, President and CEO, Telia Company; Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ericsson; Jennifer Suleiman, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Zain Group; Lawrence Yanovitch, President, GSMA Foundation, Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO, World Childhood Foundation USA; Kurt Ekert, President and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; & Susan Bissell, Director, End Violence)


End Violence Against Children

The Global Partnership and Fund

World Economic Forum 2017: An Inaugural End Violence Dialogue with the Private Sector 

 On January 18, End Violence, in collaboration with the Government of Sweden, the United Nations Foundation, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Ericsson, Telia Company, and Zain Group hosted its Inaugural End Violence Dialogue with the Private Sector on: The Unique Role that Business Can Play in Ending Violence Against Children.


The corporate leaders joining the event discussed–

  • Ways in which companies can understand their own value chains and how they may directly or indirectly be contributing to the problem of violence against children;
  • How corporate leaders can engage with and champion End Violence as an innovative platform through which businesses can collaborate amongst themselves and with governments and other actors to keep children safe and secure, while contributing to the implementation of the SDGs;
  • Examples and lessons learned from different sectors such as the mobile industry, travel sector and others, of how companies are working with partners on initiatives that focus on promoting and protecting child rights.


The discussion was moderated by Joanna Rubinstein, World Childhood Foundation USA. Tony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF noted the epidemic of child violence affects 1 billion of 2 billion children in the world, with five child deaths due to violence every day. The global cost of this violence has been estimated to be as high at $7 trillion. Speaking about the relevance of a common approach toward violence against children and the importance of dedicating resources to this goal, Lake described the private sector as "a critical partner for  influence, thinking, and best practices”.


Susan Bissell, Executive Director of End Violence, was accompanied by other participants from child-focused organisations in stressing the broad scope of violence against children, and the need for partnerships between sectors to keeping children safe. "Collaboration and partnerships across sectors will allow us to do together what no single government or agency can do alone, end violence against children," Bissell stated. She urged the private sector to join the efforts of End Violence and become partners in scaling-up solutions to ending violence against children.


The private sector participants gave insights in to their programs to combat violence against children and shared their experiences of programs that are effective in keeping children safe:

  • Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Ericsson presented an app ‘Stewards of Children’ that detects and prevents violence against children.
  • Johan Dennelind, President and CEO Telia Company says they see themselves as ambassadors for the SDGs and want to lead by example. One way to do so is to promote anti-bullying messages.
  • Jennifer Suleiman, Director Corporate Sustainability & Social Responsibility, Zain Group collaborated with governments to establish hotlines for children in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They also see the relevance to use their reach in the region to raise awareness about solutions to child abuse.


Kathleen Cravero, Oak Foundation noted that his is an amazing moment for 3 reasons:

  1. For first time in history, ending violence against children is part of an international goal (SDG)
  2. We have INSPIRE – 7 interventions that if we could get everyone to do 1 or more of we could end violence against children
  3. Private foundations have formed coalition to put money toward this.


The GSMA Foundation says it is essential to map solutions that are the most scalable, particularly using technology. The participants agreed to further cooperation with governments to champion violence against children on the national, regional, and international level. Susan Bissell, Executive Director of End Violence and Tony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF urged the private sector representatives to join the efforts of End Violence to become champions in keeping children safe.


To find out more, please watch this interview, thanks to #SDGsLIVE featuring Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation, Joanna Rubinstein, World Childhood Foundation USA and Susan Bissell: https://livestream.com/unfoundation/sdglivedavos/videos/147199004