November/December 2001Vol. 2, No. 6Global Observance for Prevention of Child Abuse Marked on November 19
On November 19, the second annual "World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse" was observed by 144 organizations representing 59 countries. Originated by the Women's World Summit Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, the event was created "to disseminate worldwide public educational briefings and protective skills to help prevent child abuse and neglect, and give guidelines on Internet filters of protection for the good use of the net." Additionally, the World Day aims "to help provide children, families and communities with skills and resources they need to prevent abuse, cope with effects, and to end such practices."
The Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) describes itself as "an international, non-profit, non-confessional, non-governmental organization and empowerment agency that works for the implementation of women's and children's rights." November 19 was chosen as the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse to coincide with the World Child's Rights Day on November 20.
Joining the WWSF in observing this day was a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that marked the day by sponsoring various kinds of programs and lobbying national governments to proclaim World Day as a National Day. In addition, participants presented the United Nations with a petition in September. Among other things, the petition asked governments that have signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child to take steps to implement the convention. The petition also asked the United Nations to place a high priority on fighting child pornography, the sale of children, and child prostitution.
The names of the organizations that participated in the World Day 2001 are featured on a poster, which can be downloaded from the WWSF website. Participants from the United States, include:
- Coalition for Children
- Global Youth Action Network
- International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)
- Pathways for Peace—The World Peace Prayer Society
- Sage Project
- The Simon Wiesenthal Center
- Women of Vision.
As part of the first World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in 2000, the WWSF disseminated 15,000 copies of a public educational briefing in four languages by Dr. Sherryl Kraizer entitled "Protecting Children from Abuse." It focuses on educating children over the age of 3 on prevention strategies, how to respond to a child's report of abuse, and Internet safety guidelines. Many organizations adapted the briefing for distribution in local schools and other locations. The original briefing can be ordered via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or downloaded from the WWSF website (http://www.woman.ch).
Local and national activities commemorating the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in 2001 will be posted on the website. Some of the examples from last year were:
- Republic of Seychelles: Two days of special masses in churches across the country to commemorate the World Day; plays and dances in kindergartens; fundraising activities for local NGOs working with abused children, such as selling candles, bookmarks, and ribbons with World Day logos; radio and TV debates on child abuse organized by the Fathers' Association; distribution of an original poster created by an NGO coalition.
- City of Xian, China: Prevention campaigns on big television screens in the streets to alert the public of child abuse and neglect in China.
- Argentina: Child abuse prevention instructions created by a group of six NGOs and circulated in health centers, schools, and other locations; television and radio programs which featured the topic; plays by various youth groups related to the theme.
World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse
c/o Women's World Summit Foundation WWSF
PO Box 2001
1211 Geneva 1
Phone: (41 22) 738-66-19
Fax: (41 22) 738-82-48