WHO: Upto 1 Billion Children Experience Physical Violence Every Year

The World Health Organisation had come up with an information booklet regarding prevention of violence against children.

It noted that each year up to 1 billion children experience some form of physical, sexual or psychological violence or neglect.

Being a victim of violence in childhood can damage children’s physical and mental health and affect their whole lives.

A new resource – School-based violence prevention: a practical handbook – recognizes the potential of schools as an important setting for facilitating violence prevention efforts.

Data from the WHO Global school-based student health survey indicates that 34% of school children reported being bullied in the previous month while 40% reported being in a physical fight in the past year. School children are also exposed to other forms of violence in educational settings, including cyber-bullying and corporal punishment, and in their homes and communities, including child maltreatment, dating and intimate partner violence, gang violence and elder abuse.

Beyond the harm to their health and well-being, children who have experienced any form of violence in childhood are less likely to graduate and more likely to be absent from school and show lower academic achievement.

“Schools are well placed to address violence,” notes Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. “Not only do they offer education and other activities that are themselves powerful protection against violence, but they also help shape attitudes about the acceptability of violence, alcohol and drug use, the carrying of weapons and other risks. Likewise, preventing violence in the broader society is of direct benefit to schools as they are better able to educate children, foster lifelong learning and empower students to be responsible global citizens”.

Conflict-related violence continued to severely affect children throughout Afghanistan, with 3,179 verified cases of children killed and maimed in 2017 as per UNICEF.

Although the number of verified cases represents a 10% decrease in 2018 in verified cases compared to 2016, casualty rates remain very high.

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