On 25 April, 2022, Buenos Aires became the world’s fourth Pathfinding City, joining hands with the End Violence Partnership to commit to ending violence against children in all its forms.
Initiated by the End Violence Partnership in 2016, the concept of Pathfinding aims to raise awareness, stimulate leadership commitment, and galvanize action across sectors and levels of governments to end violence against children. Pathfinding Countries and Cities make formal commitments and undertake comprehensive action using evidence-based policy and planning – particularly INSPIRE, a technical package of seven key strategies – to prevent and respond to violence.
By becoming a Pathfinding City, Buenos Aires will work to make safer environments for children through collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the development of evidence-based programming.
This is a critical step for children in the city. Last year alone, roughly 17,000 local children were victims of violence, including physical or emotional mistreatment and exploitation. This figure references the recorded cases, with many others yet to be publicly acknowledged.
“This global [Pathfinding] initiative, which involves all three branches of government and civil society in a cross-cutting way, is a crucial step to protect their rights and guarantee good and violence free childhoods" said Rodriguez Larreta, Buenos Aires City Mayor.
Through Pathfinding, Buenos Aires seeks to encourage a paradigm shift in society's view towards mistreatment and violence and strengthen the role of the existing systems for protection of children and their rights. End Violence will work with the city to create a diagnosis and assess the concrete measures to be taken and policies to be implemented. The alliance also aims to promote cooperation and exchanges with other Pathfinding Cities, such as Pelotas and Sao Paulo, Brazil. By measuring existing efforts within cities, practitioners and researchers in Pathfinding Cities will be better equipped to understand what is working — or what needs improvement — to end violence against children.
The Pathfinding model is proven as a platform to scale implementation of evidence-based strategies such as the INSPIRE strategies. “We welcome and celebrate the Buenos Aires’ City Government’s commitment to ending violence against children as we are confident that Pathfinding cities can achieve tangible results for children relatively quickly, demonstrating that change at scale is possible. We are optimistic that Buenos Aires will inspire leadership, political will and national coordination for other cities in Argentina. We, at the End Violence Partnership, look forward to working with all sectors to make Buenos Aires a better place for every child” said Cassia Carvalho, Partnership Officer - Pathfinding, End Violence Partnership.
Photo credit: UNICEF Aregentina