Children worldwide suffer from abhorrent acts of violence, exploitation and abuse—horrors no child should ever know or experience.
Over 300 million of them are subjected to hazardous physical labor, commercial sex exploitation and child trafficking. Others are irrevocably harmed by cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and early marriage.
Children are especially vulnerable during emergencies and armed conflicts. In countries wracked by violent war and upheaval, children can be separated from their families and fall victim to military conscription or the sex trade.
Without protection from violence and exploitation, children’s basic survival and development are at risk. Every day, millions of children are denied their fundamental right to safety and security.
Every child should grow up free from fear and harm. Take action and pledge to help end child exploitation.
I also expect governments, NGOs, and international organizations to work together to stop abuse and violence towards children and to protect vulnerable young people through widespread advocacy of legislation, monitoring systems and rehabilitation and recovery programs.
I support advocates who work with communities to address harmful practices and empower children through educational, life-skills and prevention programs.