By Andy Merrett
Oct 13, 2006
Violence against children ‘widely accepted’ and expected, says UN
The United Nations has issued a worrying report suggesting that violence against children is widely accepted and seen as normal, worldwide. The report from Kofi Annan’s office showed that 147 countries have not banned the punishment of children in other care settings, and that up to 275 million children witness domestic violence each year.
“Legalized violence against children in one context risks tolerance of violence against children generally,” said Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement released with the report. “Violence against children is a violation of their human rights, a disturbing reality of our societies,” she said.
The report also estimated that in 2002, 150 million girls and 73 million boys were subjected to forced sexual intercourse and other forms of violence involving touch, whilst 53,000 were killed.
“Many people, even children, accept violence as an inevitable part of life,” said the 45-page study by independent expert Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. “I urge states to prohibit all forms of violence against children, in all settings, including all corporal punishment, harmful traditional practices — such as early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so-called honor crimes — sexual violence and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
It’s horrific to think that so many nations have reached a point where it’s ‘normal’ to see violence against children as acceptable, or only to focus on the most obvious, brutal cases when in fact there are so many hidden, ‘acceptable’ forms of violence carried out against kids every day.