In a bipartisan effort to reduce violence against children, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate calling for the United States to develop a strategy to combat the problem.
The resolution does not make specific promises about how the U.S. government will try to lessen violence against children globally, other than to “develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy built on evidence-based practices” and to work with the World Health Organization to do so.
Cardin introduced the statement along with Sen. John Boozman (R-Ariz.) saying he hopes the resolution is the beginning for the U.S. government to develop a strategy to reduce violence against children worldwide.
“One measure of our common humanity is how we care for and support our children,” Cardin said in a statement. “In too many ways we have come up short, particularly when it comes to protecting them from violence and keeping them safe. Senate passage of this resolution would encourage the U.S. government to create and begin implementing a strategy to prevent, address, and end violence against children and youth globally, in line with the international standards and sustainable development goals the international community aspires towards.”
The resolution is part of an advocacy effort by the Ending Violence Against Children Taskforce, which brought about a similar resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. While neither resolution calls for specific actions, other than to pursue a public-private partnership on the issue, their goal in part is to help draw attention to a global problem.
According to WHO, more than a billion children worldwide are exposed to some sort of physical, sexual or mental violence in their communities.
“Congress and the State Department have been working on multiple fronts to promote global economic development, but failure to address violence against children—horrific acts like trafficking, child labor and proximity to violent conflicts—threatens to undermine those efforts every step of the way,” Boozman said.