Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD responds to letter sent by ChildFund Ireland’s CEO Michael Kiely, regarding the inclusion of violence against and exploitation of children as one of the post 2015 development goals.
Violence against children hinders economic growth, weakens democratic governance, and accentuates inequalities. Countries with high rates of child labour tend to have low rates of school attendance. Children who study in a violent environment achieve lower academic results than those who do not. A child victim of abuse and exploitation can be affected emotionally, mentally and physically, and his or her ability to learn and socialize can be seriously hampered. In a recently released report by ChildFund Alliance, which was based on 55 focus groups of children from all over the world, children themselves called upon world leaders to create and enforce legislation against violence, fund and run awareness campaigns at all levels, and ensure offenders are punished so that they feel safe. The top three concerns for themselves and their fellow children were sexual violence, child labour, and physical and humiliating punishment.