2020 was catastrophic for children everywhere.
As COVID-19 swept around the globe, strained health systems and lockdowns caused untold harm to children’s safety and wellbeing. Job loss and falling family income increased domestic stress and anxiety. Children bore the brunt, and they continue to be at higher risk of violence, exploitation and abuse.
Girls and boys the world over have been devastated by COVID-19’s aftershocks. Before the pandemic, more than one billion children experienced violence every year. As the crisis unfolded, up to 85 million more children found themselves at risk of violence at home, online and in their communities. At the same time, systems to prevent and protect children from violence were significantly weakened. This ‘perfect storm’ that placed more children at risk, has generational and possibly lifelong consequences for children and their communities. The case for urgent action is clear.
Despite this, the scale and severity of the problem still outpace the political will and funding required to mitigate it. Since the 2015 landmark pledge to end all forms of violence against children as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, many commitments have been made or strengthened. But, tragically for the children whose lives and futures depend on them, there is little action or delivery on the promises that have been made.
Without adequate investment, there is not much that evidence-based policy and practical action alone can achieve. Practitioners and policymakers all agree that adequate and effective investment in ending violence against children is vital. Tracking this is difficult because national expenditure data is both poor and fragmented across many sectors. Donor funding remains scarce in proportion to the scale of need and the opportunity to prevent the violence which undermines the Sustainable Development agenda.
In 2017, our organisations commissioned the Counting Pennies report, capturing the state of donor investment on ending violence against children in 2015 – the inaugural year of Agenda 2030. The report proved useful to donors, stakeholders, media and the public, we ran the numbers again.
Click here to read the report, or click on the image below.