Strengthening intersectoral stakeholder collaboration for the prevention of violence against children in priority countries

WHO/Alex Serafini Swanepoel

14–15 January 2020, Tallinn, Estonia

Violence against children is a hidden form of violence, and evidence shows that the prevalence is unacceptably high in the WHO European Region: it ranges from 9.6% for sexual abuse to 22.9% for physical abuse and 29.1% for mental abuse. This suggests that tens of millions of children are abused before the age of 18.

Recognizing the need to act, the Nordic and Baltic countries have made child maltreatment prevention a key priority. Five European countries (Armenia, Georgia, Montenegro, Romania and Sweden) have also taken the lead as Pathfinding Countries, a concept established by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

The upcoming workshop “Strengthening intersectoral stakeholder collaboration for the prevention of violence against children in priority countries” will take place on 14–15 January 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia, to establish the way forward.

As part of WHO’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it incorporated the prevention of violence against children into its 13th General Programme of Work. WHO set a target reduction of 20% in the number of children who have experienced violence in the past 12 months.

Hosted by WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia, the workshop will engage parliamentarians, national technical focal points and representatives from participating countries to foster the cross-pollination of knowledge.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • understand the burden and risk factors attributed to violence against children, and the benefits of investing in children and the life-course approach;
  • receive the latest good practices and exchange evidence-based information on the prevention of violence in childhood;
  • discuss intersectoral roles of the health, welfare, education and justice sectors under a whole-of-government approach to preventing and responding to violence against children, and how this could apply to participating countries;
  • explore the role of parliamentarians in setting standards to end violence against children; and
  • encourage the development and expansion of networks to strengthen prevention.

Expected outcomes

The workshop aims to foster institutional capacity to prevent violence against children, to improve understanding of the key advances being made, and to strengthen networks to facilitate cross-country learning in the implementation of prevention programming.