In the fourteen years since the Millennium Declaration and the establishment of the MDGs, children continue to be victims of all forms of violence including neglect, physical aggression, emotional abuse and sexual violence as well as forced into marriage, killed in the name of honour, and exploited through begging and bonded labour, targeted by gang and community violence, tortured, and are victims of enforced disappearances and inhumane sentencing. Violence against children is widespread and pervasive and continues to compromise social progress and development. It is strongly associated with poor rule of law and weak enforcement, high levels of organized crime and homicide rates, and a culture of impunity. For children, violence in their daily lives goes hand in hand with vulnerability and deprivation, high risks of poor health, poor school performance, and long-term welfare dependency. In today’s world, violence against children remains pervasive and concealed. Its impact is often irreversible, damaging the development of the brain, especially in younger children, and compromises children’s physical, mental and social development, health and education.

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