Creating a culture of prevention
Abuse of children and adolescents is a complex international problem that seems to defy simple analysis and easy answers. To understand child abuse and exploitation, and to make an impact on the outcomes of these children, the NICHD is joining the American Psychological Association in marking the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse on November 19.
The World Day, initiated by the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) in 2000, aims to create a culture of prevention around the world by encouraging governments and community/society organizations to play more active roles in protecting children. To focus attention on this difficult problem, the partners in World Day host activities to increase awareness and education about child abuse and violence toward children, to promote respect for the Rights of the Child External Web Site Policy, and to make preventing child abuse a top priority.
Despite the fact that most cultures denounce child abuse, including sexual abuse and exploitation, the WWSF reports that more than 1 million children throughout the world enter the sex trade each year. After modest success with the first World Day in 2000, the WWSF reached out to governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) throughout the world to form the NGO Coalition. In 2001, the NGO Coalition had more than 150 NGO members that united to celebrate World Day, putting words into action to protect the world’s children. Currently, World Day includes an NGO Coalition of more than 700 members, as well as government partners, including federal, state, and local agencies in the United States, committed to creating a culture of prevention for child abuse.