The Global Collaborative—a survivor led network of NGO’s, faith-based institutions, survivor networks and governments – is calling on the United Nations for the establishment of November 18th as “International Day for Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Prevention and Healing.” The country of Sierra Leone has formally taken up the mantel as a sponsor calling for this new world day at the UN—significantly, the First Lady of Sierra Leone is herself a survivor of child marriage.
“Too often, child sexual abuse and exploitation is not prioritized on the international stage,” said Haley McNamara, Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE). “That is why we are thrilled to be a part of the Global Collaborative network calling for this new UN World Day to increase awareness, resources, and legislative solutions for healing and prevention.”
“The World Health Organization reports 120 million girls and young women under 20 years of age have suffered some form of forced sexual contact; that one in five women, and one in thirteen men report experiencing sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. This is a global epidemic, and for too long it has remained in the shadows.”
“The 18 November International Day will provide a forum to bring survivors, civil society, and governments together to focus and better align vital resources, heighten awareness of the problem of child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), and support victims and their families in their quest for healing and justice,” said McNamara.
The Global Collaborative asserts that this will be accomplished through the following actions:
• Bringing global visibility to the right for every child to grow up free from all forms of sexual abuse, both on-line and off-line.
• Raising awareness of measures that can be taken by communities, schools, religious institutions, recreational venues, inter-governmental organizations, families, and young persons to ensure that every child is protected.
• Channeling the creativity and influence of a range of partners to accelerate adoption of legislation, policies, and procedures to ensure all children are safe, and victims/survivors receive justice, and have access to the resources they need to heal.
• Accelerating adoption of evidence-based practices by health care providers, social welfare organizations and faith communities to enabling effective healing for victims/survivors of abuse, their family members, and communities.
Members of the public are invited to join a “Virtual Walk” to raise awareness and support for this new World Day on November 18th!
To join the Virtual Walk, simply pledge a number of steps that you will take on November 18th here: https://www.globalcollaborative.org/november18
“The Virtual Walk symbolizes the collective, global need for all nations to “take steps” to recognize child sexual abuse and exploitation and to better promote healing and prevention,” said McNamara.
The following organizations are co-founders and Partners of the International Day for Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Prevention and Healing:
- A Breeze of Hope Foundation
- American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
- Arigatou International
- Army of Survivors
- Australia eSafety Commission
- Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
- Bellweather International
- Candle in a Dark Room
- Child Abuse Council
- Christian Cultural Center
- Darkness to Light
- Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
- General Federation of Women’s Clubs
- End FGM/C U.S./Network
- Enough Abuse Campaign
- Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University
- Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities
- International Board of Rabbi’s
- Keep Kids Safe Coalition
- Islamic Relief
- Male Survivors
- Maria Goretti Network
- Monique Burr Foundation
- National Center on Sexual Exploitation / International Centre on Sexual Exploitation
- Prevent Child Abuse America
- Roads of Success
- Sacred Spaces
- Shine on Sierra Leone
- Survivor Network for Those Abused by Priests
- The Catholic Project
- The New York Foundling
- Their Story is our Story
- Together for Girls
- WeProtect Global Alliance
- World Childhood Foundation, USA
- World Council of Churches
- World Vision
- YMCA USA