Emerging global movement calls for Nov 18 to be World Day to end sexual violence against children

 UNI111664_© UNICEF:UNI111664

On November 18 an emerging global movement of survivors and allies is calling for establishing November 18, 2021 as the First Annual “World Day for Prevention, Healing and Justice to End Sexual Violence Against Children & Adolescents”.

The movement to establish the #Nov18WorldDay is being led by the Global Collaborative who will be joined by powerful advocates and organisations from over 55 countries to acknowledge the magnitude of the global crisis of sexual violence against children and adolescents, press for systemic change to address this crisis, and call for long-term, sustained funding for organisations focused on prevention, healing, and justice - so that programs reach all children everywhere.

This often silent epidemic of sexual violence is experienced by 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 13 boys before the age of 18. Cost-effective, evidence-based solutions exist to prevent and respond to such violence and the World Day is an important moment to promote policy solutions and to ensure that survivor voices and experiences are heard, acknowledged, honoured and included in governing and decision-making bodies.

November 18 marks a joint effort to promote these steps towards ending sexual violence against children and adolescents. Individuals and organizations around the world are gearing up for collective action.

To show support, individuals can take ‘steps’ to promote ending sexual violence against children. Global Collaborative – a survivor-led network of NGOs, faith-based institutions, survivor networks, and governments – is encouraging individuals to log their step-counts online on November 18 in solidarity with the global movement. The hope is that people can help raise awareness, funding, and international collaboration in the call for a UN world day to end child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Council of Europe and their 47 member states,will take steps to promote the Lanzarote Convention – a convention adopted in 2015 for protection of children against sexual abuse and exploitation.

Kenya’s Survivors of Sexual Violence Kenya Network is undertaking a march procession to UN headquarters in Nairobi to hand in a memorandum of understanding demanding immediate action to end sexual violence against children.

In USA, Keep Kids Safe (KKS) is launching the U.S. National Blueprint to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents. The Blueprint is a call for national action, laying out an agenda for the executive and legislative branches to act immediately to keep children safe through prevention, healing, and justice initiatives. It aims to bring these initiatives to scale in USA as well as invest in global programs that support efforts in other countries.

The Enough Abuse Campaign is launching its updated ‘Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates', a unique resource detailing current and pending child sexual abuse prevention laws and legislative efforts in all 50 states.

India has launched a Child Safety Week, a collaborative effort by over 180 organisations to keep children safe.

Healing Together Nepal will host a nationwide “Art and Activism” contest for schools and organizations to show solidarity against child and adolescent sexual violence.

Organizations and communities in countries such as Bolivia, Canada, Uganda, and Rwanda are also taking action on this day, ranging from the development of policy blueprints to public engagement podcasts to increase awareness.


Photo credit: © UNICEF/UNI111664/Pirozzi