© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

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© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Content

 

  • UNICEF | for every child
  • A Familiar Face
  • Executive summary
  • Unmasking the all-too-familiar faces of childhood violence
  • In Afghanistan, more than half of children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence
  • A reality throughout childhood and adolescence
  • Worldwide, half of all school-age children (6 to 17) live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited
  • Universality and inequities
  • The most deadliest places in the world for adolescent boys
  • Still hidden
  • Righting a global wrong
  • United Nations Children’s Fund
Unicef
A child’s first experience of human interaction typically occurs at home, in a positive, nurturing and loving context.

Beyond the unnecessary hurt and pain it causes, violence undermines children’s sense of self-worth and hinders their development.

A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents uses the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence.

The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact on a daily basis. Ensuring that violence in all its forms is recognized as a fundamental violation of children’s human rights and documented through solid data is a first step towards its elimination.

KEY FACTS:
  • Close to 300 million (3 in 4) children aged 2 to 4 worldwide experience violent discipline by their caregivers on a regular basis; 250 million (around 6 in 10) are punished by physical means.
  • Worldwide, 1 in 4 (176 million) children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.
  • Worldwide, close to 130 million (slightly more than 1 in 3) students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying.
  • 732 million (1 in 2) school-age children between 6 and 17 years live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.
  • Every 7 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent is killed by an act of violence. In 2015 alone, violence took the lives of around 82,000 adolescents worldwide.
  • In the United States, the homicide rate among non-Hispanic Black adolescent boys aged 10 to 19 is almost 19 times higher than the rate among non-Hispanic White adolescent boys.
  • Worldwide, around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sex in their lifetime.
  • Based on data from 30 countries, only 1% of adolescent girls who have experienced forced sex reached out for professional help.


Soyapango, El Salvador, April 14th, 2016:
Wanda ( change name ), a teenage girl in Soyapango:
“I am 14 years old; I live in El Salvador, San Salvador. My favorite food is pupusas. My favorite color is orange. I go to school, I am in 8th grade, and my favorite subject is Math.

Currently, I do believe that all my classmates do things that are not really appropriate in Facebook. For example, I know about the case of someone (a girl) who contacted another person through Facebook. They started interacting, and later decided to meet in person, but it turned out that this person was not who he said he was in Facebook.

Then, he abducted her and the girlfriend she had invited to come with her to the date she had previously agreed to have with him and…

Children from all walks of life endure violence, and millions more are at risk

 

 

 

NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WITH COMPARABLE DATA ON…

… violent discipline among children aged 1 to 14

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Executive summary

All children have the right to be protected from violence inflicted on them by anyone in their lives – whether parents, teachers, friends, romantic partners or strangers. And all forms of violence experienced by children, regardless of the nature or severity of the act, are harmful. Beyond the unnecessary hurt and pain it causes, violence undermines children’s sense of self-worth and hinders their development.

Yet violence against children is often rationalized as necessary or inevitable. It may be tacitly accepted due to the familiarity of perpetrators, or minimized as inconsequential. The memory or reporting of violence may be buried due to shame or fear of reprisal. Impunity of perpetrators and prolonged exposure may leave victims believing violence is normal. In such ways, violence is masked, making it difficult to prevent and end.

A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents uses the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence.

The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact on a daily basis.

Ensuring that violence in all its forms is documented through solid data is a first step towards its elimination.

 

EVERYDAY PLACES, FAMILIAR FACES

One need not look far to find violence in the lives of children.

A child’s first experience of human interaction typically occurs at home, in a positive, nurturing and loving context. However, home is also the place where a child’s first exposure to violence is likely to occur.

Three quarters of children aged 2 to 4 worldwide – close to 300 million – are regularly subjected to violent discipline (physical punishment and/or psychological aggression) by their parents or other caregivers at home, and around 6 in 10 (250 million) are subjected to physical punishment. Many children are also indirectly affected by violence in the home: Worldwide, 1 in 4 children (176 million) under the age of 5 live with a mother who has been a recent victim of intimate partner violence.

Violence also occurs in places where children are meant to learn and socialize. In 2016 alone, close to 500 attacks or threats of attacks on schools were documented or verified in 18 conflict-affected countries or areas. Children attending schools in countries that are not affected by conflict can also be at risk. Between November 1991 and December 2016, 59 school shootings that resulted in at least one reported fatality occurred in 14 countries across the world. Nearly 3 in 4 of these happened in the United States.

Children are at greatest risk of exposure to sexual violence within the context of close relationships. In the 28 countries with available data, 9 in 10 adolescent girls who have reported forced sex say it occurred for the first time at the hands of someone close or known to them, with current or former boyfriends, partners or husbands the most commonly reported perpetrators. Adolescent boys, too, face sexual abuse from those close to them: Friends, classmates and partners were among the most frequently cited perpetrators of the latest incident in 5 countries with comparable data (Cambodia, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria).

 

A REALITY THROUGHOUT CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE

Violence often starts early.

According to data from 30 countries, nearly half of children aged 12 to 23 months are subjected to corporal punishment at home and a similar proportion are exposed to verbal abuse.

As children grow, they spend more time outside their homes and in online spaces. They begin to encounter and interact with more people, including peers and romantic partners. This widening of the social world, while beneficial in many respects, also creates situations in which children may be exposed to new forms of violence. Bullying is one example, experienced by close to 130 million students aged 13 to 15 worldwide.

Although girls and boys are at risk of sexual violence at any age, girls become particularly vulnerable after puberty. Worldwide, the most recent surveys indicate that 9 million girls aged 15 to 19 were forced into sexual intercourse or other sexual acts within the past year. In 20 countries with comparable data, nearly 9 in 10 adolescent girls who reported having experienced forced sex say this happened for the first time during adolescence.

Violent deaths also become more common in adolescence. In 2015 alone, there were around 119,000 violent deaths among children and adolescents below the age of 20; 2 in 3 victims were aged 10 to 19. Older adolescents, aged 15 to 19, are particularly vulnerable: They are three times more likely to die violently than younger adolescents aged 10 to 14.

 

UNIVERSALITY AND INEQUITIES

Violence is both common and widespread – and no society is without some level of violence against its youngest members.

Data confirm that some types, such as violent discipline, affect children from rich and poor households alike. However, certain groups of children remain particularly vulnerable to other forms of abuse. Knowing relevant risk factors can help ensure that protective measures reach those who need them most.

For some types of violence, exposure and risk have a geographical component. For example, nearly half of all adolescent homicides occur in Latin America and the Caribbean, although the region comprises slightly less than 10 per cent of the global adolescent population. The five countries with the highest homicide rates among adolescents aged 10 to 19, as of 2015, are all located in this region (the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador and Brazil).

Conflicts or civil insurrections kill more adolescents in the Middle East and North Africa than in all other regions combined. Only 6 per cent of the world’s adolescents live in this region, yet it accounts for more than 70 per cent of the adolescent deaths from collective violence.

The top five most deadly places for adolescent boys are countries in both regions – the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Colombia and El Salvador. For girls, the risk is highest in the Syrian Arab Republic, followed by Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras and South Sudan.

The data also point to some groups of adolescents being at greater risk of violent death based on individual characteristics, such as sex and race.

The global homicide rate is four times higher among adolescent boys than girls. Perpetrators of homicide also reflect a distinctly gendered pattern: Males are much more likely to be killed by strangers. Almost half (47 per cent) of female homicide victims are killed by family members or intimate partners compared to about 6 per cent of males.

In the United States a non-Hispanic Black adolescent boy is nearly 19 times more likely to be killed by homicide than a non-Hispanic White adolescent boy. If the homicide rate among non-Hispanic Black adolescent boys was applied nationwide, the United States would be one of the top 10 most deadly countries in the world. In 2015, the risk of being killed by homicide for non-Hispanic Black adolescent boys in the United States was higher than the risk of dying due to collective violence for adolescent boys living in a number of conflict-affected countries.

While boys face a substantially higher risk of dying from violence, girls are generally more vulnerable to sexual victimization. However, the limited availability of data on boys related to sexual violence constrains our understanding of the risks they face.

 

STILL HIDDEN

Preventing violence against children requires a major shift in what societies regard as acceptable practices.

Worldwide, around 1.1 billion caregivers, or slightly more than 1 in 4, admit to believing in the necessity of physical punishment as a form of discipline. To date, only 60 countries have adopted legislation that fully prohibits the use of corporal punishment at home, leaving more than 600 million children under age 5 without full legal protection. This lack of legal prohibitions is a clear sign that violent discipline remains a largely unacknowledged form of violence against children.

While schools are entrusted with providing a safe environment for children to learn and thrive, laws prohibiting violence in educational settings remain scarce. Some 732 million school-age children, half the global population aged 6 to 17, live in countries where they are not legally protected from corporal punishment at school.

A key reason why violence against children remains hidden is the reluctance of many victims to disclose their abuse, seek help to cope with the experience or take action to protect themselves from further victimization. Findings from 30 countries confirm this, with only 1 per cent of girls who had experienced forced sex saying they had sought professional help. This reluctance on the part of victims to report incidents to authorities or other professionals poses a challenge to exposing the true extent and nature of violence against children.

Lack of data can hinder efforts to reveal the pervasive nature of violence. This in turn limits the effectiveness of initiatives to prevent it. While the past decade has seen a marked improvement in the availability of data on violence against children, certain types remain under-researched. In a notable example of this gap, just 40 countries have comparable statistics on sexual violence against girls, and only 7 have comparable data on sexual violence against boys.

 

RIGHTING A GLOBAL WRONG

The data and analysis presented in this report aim to influence the way we think and talk about the all-too-familiar faces of childhood violence. It is hoped that the findings will encourage governments, organizations and individuals everywhere to acknowledge the extent of violence against children and intensify their efforts to end it.

Signs of progress are evident. Whereas the Millennium Development Goals did not address violence directly, three targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 speak to the issue of violence against children. Many additional targets integrated throughout the framework address related risk factors.

At the national level, an increasing number of countries have implemented coordinated national action plans to address violence against children, enforced legislation to protect victims, and promoted programmes aimed at changing societal beliefs and attitudes around violence.

Protecting children against violence is a path towards more peaceful and inclusive societies, as called for by SDG 16. It will take individual and collective action to right this global wrong.

On 13 March 2016, Minda, 9, gently strokes her favourite stuffed animal in a dormitory at the Marillac Hills Centre in the city of Muntinlupa, in Metro Manila, Philippines. Minda was rescued with 5 other children during a police raid in October 2015. Her mother has gone to prison for her active role in her daughter’s participation in online pornography shows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In MOST of the countries with data, children from wealthier households are equally likely to experience violent discipline as those from poorer households

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worldwide, 3 IN 4 young children are regularly subjected to violent discipline by their caregivers

 

 

 

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Unmasking the all-too-familiar faces of childhood violence

Violence against children in all its forms, from the slap of a parent to the unwanted sexual advances of a peer, is harmful, morally indefensible and a violation of every child’s fundamental human rights.

Scientists have long understood that the vital neural pathways formed during the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to age 2, shape the rapidly developing brain. It is well established that these connections require adequate nutrition and stimulation. But recent research reveals that a third element – protection from violence – is essential as well. Exposure to traumatic experiences can produce toxic stress – defined as prolonged, strong or frequent adversity in which the body’s stress-response system remains activated. This can alter the structure and functioning of the brain during the formative early years.

While violence is especially damaging during the first few years of life, it affects a child’s physical safety and emotional and cognitive well-being at every stage. As they grow older, girls and boys begin interacting with a wider array of people outside the home, including peers, teachers, neighbours and romantic partners. This broadening of a child’s social world represents an opportunity to build capacities and life skills – but it also opens the door to new forms of violence, with potentially irreversible or long-term consequences.

Children of all ages are likely to find themselves at risk in the very environments where they spend most of their time and where they should feel the safest: at home, in school and in their communities. It is in these contexts that most violence against children occurs, often at the hands of the people with whom they interact on a daily basis. For many children, violence wears a familiar face.

 

DOCUMENTING SCALE AND SCOPE

Despite a growing awareness of the global nature of violence against children, the misconception that it is relatively rare persists. Media reporting typically focuses on extreme cases, such as death or rape. And while such tragedies, thankfully, are relatively uncommon, other acts of violence are not.

It is the routine, day-to-day abuses that typically remain unacknowledged and ignored. Pervasive forms of violence, such as physical punishment at home and bullying at school, may become normalized in the lives of children. Such forms of violence are often socially accepted, tacitly condoned, or simply not perceived as abusive.

In 2013, UNICEF launched the #ENDviolence campaign, a multiphase initiative to make all forms of violence against children visible and spur action. Pivotal to this effort was the release in 2014 of UNICEF’s groundbreaking report, Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children.3 In order to shed light on the prevalence and scale of various types of violence, the publication presented statistics from 190 countries. Hidden in Plain Sight concluded that additional data, collected regularly and disseminated widely, could help prevent and ultimately end violence against children.

Building on this earlier work, A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents draws on global, regional and national data released since 2014. It provides new statistics and analysis on four specific forms of violence that many children face from early childhood through adolescence:

  • Childhood experiences of physical force or verbal intimidation as forms of discipline, presenting new analyses on children as young as 1 year of age, and on young children’s exposure to intimate partner violence in the home.
  • Violence experienced by children while at school, including bullying, corporal punishment by teachers, attacks on schools and school shootings.
  • Violent deaths in adolescence, including new trend analyses.
  • Sexual violence, which children and adolescents experience in different settings and across the life cycle.

Because the lives and futures of children are at stake, this report also highlights programmatic approaches that UNICEF and its partners on the ground have developed to tackle the different forms of violence against children. These examples illustrate what is already working and point to national policies and action that can make a positive impact for children at risk.

 

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

The challenges presented here are daunting, in part because violence against children is so pervasive. The stakes are high: If current trends continue, close to 2 million children and adolescents could be killed by an act of violence by the year 2030.

One of the key recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s 2006 World Report on Violence against Children was to improve the quality and quantity of the evidence on this issue.5 Now, just over a decade later, significantly more data have become available. For instance, the number of countries with cross-nationally comparable data on violent discipline has grown from around 39 in 2005 to nearly 80 today. Data gaps are slowly being filled, thanks to the surge of national surveys and studies dedicated exclusively to the collection of information on children’s experiences of violence.

Meanwhile, global commitments to address violence against children have reached an all-time high with the integration of relevant targets into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals, adopted by the international community in September 2015, reiterate that ending violence against children is a critical component of progress in global development. The inclusion of targets to eliminate violence against children by 2030 has helped to elevate the issue, which affects children in all countries, from the richest to the poorest.

The SDGs hold an enormous potential to drive change for children, reach those furthest behind and address persistent inequities. Investing in data – including collection, analysis, dissemination and use – will be vital for monitoring progress and ensuring accountability among both national-level actors as well as members of the international community.

 

HOW UNICEF WORKS TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

Following a comprehensive review of its work on protecting children from violence, conducted in 2015,6 UNICEF has made ending violence against children an organization-wide priority across all programme areas. In 2016, 124 UNICEF country offices carried out programming to prevent and respond to violence against children through a variety of interventions. To establish a more cohesive global strategy, UNICEF is building on the key approaches outlined below.

Strengthening national commitments to multisectoral plans and priority actions. There is broad international consensus that the most promising approaches to long-term prevention of violence against girls and boys involve comprehensive, coordinated action across all sectors, including leadership from governments and engagement of civil society. Some countries, for example the United Republic of Tanzania, have carried out action under a single comprehensive, costed national plan.

Assisting with the development and implementation of legal and policy frameworks. The development of legal and policy frameworks to protect children and adolescents from all forms of violence, exploitation and discrimination is an essential component of building a protective environment for every child. Such frameworks include national and subnational criminal and civil legislation, family codes and administrative laws, along with other policies, regulations and codes of conduct. But while legal reform may be an important achievement, UNICEF recognizes that it is often just a first step in a longer chain of actions. The greater challenge is to ensure that laws and policies are implemented and enforced in ways that protect all girls and boys from harm.

Providing technical support to the justice, social welfare, health and education sectors, along with other sectors as relevant, including travel and tourism, and information and communication technology. At the country level, technical support is frequently required to strengthen prevention programmes, reporting mechanisms and response services for children and adolescents affected by violence. UNICEF provides such support, helping to establish or strengthen child protection services that directly address the problem and seek to prevent it through, for example, enhancing the capacities of service providers. This support is focused particularly, but not exclusively, within social welfare systems to strengthen the workforce and support the establishment of effective referral pathways between social welfare and child protective services, the police and other sectors.

Supporting communities, parents and children. Shifting the social norms that encourage violence and discrimination is a key component of UNICEF’s work to protect children. Behaviour change efforts are undertaken in community-based interventions and school-based programmes, and through comprehensive and sustained mass media awareness-raising campaigns to shift attitudes, behaviour and social norms and to encourage reporting of violence.

Parenting programmes are another critical area of intervention to prevent and respond to violence. Spurred by neuroscientific evidence on the importance of protecting children from violence and neglect, especially during their early years, most of these programmes have focused on early childhood development, but some have also aimed to reach older children. Evidence suggests that household economic insecurity, gender inequality and domestic violence are among the factors associated with an elevated risk of violence against children, and UNICEF supports action to address these factors as well.

To amplify and improve coordination in prevention and response, UNICEF helped found the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, which brings together governments, United Nations agencies, civil society groups, philanthropic foundations and academics, and engages children as well. UNICEF and partners have also developed INSPIRE, a common approach to strategies that address violence against children, which aims to align concrete action through evidence-based programmes.

Current work is sharply focused on online violence, exploitation and abuse, a relatively new area for many countries. To support the 34 country offices working on this issue, UNICEF is reviewing policies and programmes that have proved to be effective in protecting children online, and developing guidance for governments on addressing online violence.

Though much has been achieved in protecting children from all forms of violence, additional investments are needed to sustain and accelerate this progress. Investments in data collection and monitoring of programme results will help with tracking progress and raising public awareness of violence against children and suggesting effective solutions. Investments in capacity building of the social services sector are also crucial.

 

Everyday places, familiar faces

One need not look far to find violence in the lives of children.
A child’s first experience of human interaction typically occurs at home, in a positive, nurturing and loving context. However, home is also the place where a child’s first exposure to violence is likely to occur.

 

Worldwide, 3 in 4 young children are regularly subjected to violent discipline by their caregivers

Percentage of children aged 2 to 4 years who experienced any violent discipline in the past month, by type

Notes: These estimates are based on a subset of 94 countries with data covering 55 per cent of the global population of children aged 2 to 4 years. In order to ensure sufficient population coverage, data from multiple sources were combined and in some cases there were differences across countries included in these estimates in terms of the age group covered or the definitions employed. When possible, underlying country data were adjusted to align with standard definitions.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2017, based on DHS, MICS and other nationally representative surveys, 2005–2016.

The actor(s) in these images were participating in an advocacy publication, as part of a campaign to reduce violence and abuse in schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite recent progress, the AVAILABILITY of COMPARABLE DATA on violence against children remains LIMITED, hindering the ability of most countries to report on the SDGs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WITH COMPARABLE DATA ON…

… experiences of intimate partner violence in the past 12 months among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

In Afghanistan, more than half of children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence


Notes: Data refer only to children of women who have ever been married or lived with a partner. Data for Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Liberia, Peru, the Republic of Moldova, Timor-Leste, the United Republic of Tanzania and Ukraine do not include children of women who are widowed. Data for Pakistan refer only to children whose mother experienced any physical or emotional intimate partner violence in the past 12 months.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2017, based on DHS, 2005–2016.

 

 

VIOLENT DISCIPLINE AND EXPOSURE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN

EARLY CHILDHOOD

 

Close to 300 MILLION (3 in 4) children aged 2 to 4 worldwide experience violent discipline by their caregivers on a regular basis; 250 MILLION (around 6 in 10) are punished by physical means.

 

Worldwide, 1 IN 4 (176 million) children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.

 

Based on data from 30 countries, 6 IN 10 children aged 12 to 23 months are subjected to violent disciplinary methods. Among children this age, almost half experience physical punishment and a similar proportion are exposed to verbal abuse.

 

Globally, around 1.1 BILLION (slightly more than 1 in 4) caregivers say that physical punishment is necessary to properly raise or educate children.

 

Only 60 countries have adopted legislation that fully prohibits the use of corporal punishment against children at home, leaving more than 600 MILLION children under age 5 without full legal protection.
 

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

A reality throughout childhood and adolescence

As children grow, they spend more time outside their homes and in online spaces. They begin to encounter and interact with more people, including peers and romantic partners. This widening of the social world, while beneficial in many respects, also creates situations in which children may be exposed to new forms of violence. Bullying is one example, experienced on a regular basis by close to 130 million students aged 13 to 15 worldwide.

 

Bullying is a reality for a significant proportion of adolescents around the world

Source: HBSC 2009/2010 and 2013/2014 and GSHS 2003–2016

Note: Data from the HBSC studies were recalculated as weighted averages for 13- to 15-year-olds to allow for comparison with data collected in the GSHS. For full details, please see UNICEF’s A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents.

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers. The final boundary between the Sudan and South Sudan has not yet been determined. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. The dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan.

In order to fully realize their potential, children need a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment in which to grow, learn, thrive and succeed. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly mandates that children be protected from violent discipline while at school. Still, children living in 73 countries today lack full legal protection from this form of violence while at school. And even where it has been outlawed, its use may continue.

 

 

Violence against children in the SDGS

 

GOAL 5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

 

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.2.1 Proportion of everpartnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age

5.2.2 Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence

 

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Worldwide, half of all school-age children (6 to 17) live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited

Source: Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

Note: Countries with partial prohibition include those where corporal punishment has been prohibited only in part of the country, under certain conditions or in certain types of institutions. For full details, please see UNICEF’s A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents.

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers. The final boundary between the Sudan and South Sudan has not yet been determined. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. The dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

Worldwide, HALF of all schoolage children (6 to 17) live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited, leaving 732 MILLION children without legal protection

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Universality and inequities

Violence is both common and widespread – and no society is without some level of violence against its children.  Data confirm that some types – such as violent discipline – negatively affect children from rich and poor households alike.

 

In most countries with data, children from wealthier households are equally likely to experience violent discipline as those from poorer households

Percentage of children aged 2 to 4 years who experienced any violent discipline in the past month, by wealth quintile

As girls and boys move through adolescence, they spend more time in an ever-expanding social environment and interact with a wider array of people. Sexual violence against children can and does occur in countries of all incomes and development levels and can affect children at all ages and in different settings. While both boys and girls can be the target of sexual violence, data suggest that girls are generally at a heightened risk. Adolescence is a period of pronounced vulnerability, especially for girls.

 

Around 1 in 6 young women and 1 in 25 young men report childhood experiences of forced sex in Cameroon

Notes: Data on the proportions of men who have experienced forced sex in childhood are only available for a subset of countries. Data for Afghanistan refer to ever-married women aged 18 to 29 years who have experienced forced sex committed by a husband before age 18. Data for Colombia refer to ever-married women who have experienced forced sex committed by a husband or partner before age 18. There were no reported experiences of forced sex before age 18 among women aged 18 to 29 years in Kyrgyzstan.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2017, based on DHS, 2005–2016.

The data also point to some groups of adolescents being at greater risk of violent death based on individual characteristics, such as sex and race.

The global homicide rate is four times higher among adolescent boys than girls. Perpetrators of homicide also reflect a distinctly gendered pattern: Males are much more likely to be killed by strangers. Almost half (47 per cent) of female homicide victims are killed by family members or intimate partners compared to about 6 per cent of males. [1]

In the United States a non-Hispanic Black adolescent boy is nearly 19 times more likely to be killed by homicide than a non-Hispanic White adolescent boy. If the homicide rate among non-Hispanic Black adolescent boys was applied nationwide, the United States would be one of the top 10 most deadly countries in the world.

 

 
 
 

GOAL 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

 

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

16.1.1 Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age

16.1.2 Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause

16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

16.2.1 Proportion of children aged 1 to 17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month

16.2.3 Proportion of young women and men aged 18 to 29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18

 

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

The most deadliest places in the world for adolescent boys

Notes: Multiple years of national death registration data with high completeness and quality cause-of-death assignment were available for Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago. Multiple years of national death registration data with low completeness and/or moderate quality issues were available for Belize, Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and comparison among countries should be interpreted with caution. Multiple years of national death registration data with low completeness and/or severe quality issues were available for the Dominican Republic and El Salvador and comparison among countries should be interpreted with caution. National death registration data were unavailable or unusable due to quality issues for Honduras; therefore, the estimate is uncertain and should be interpreted with caution.

Source: World Health Organization, Global Health Estimates 2015: Deaths by cause, age and sex, by country and by region, 2000–2015, WHO, Geneva, 2016, recalculated by UNICEF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only 9% of children under age 5 live in countries where corporal punishment at home is fully prohibited, leaving around 607 MILLION young children without full legal protection

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Still hidden

A key reason why violence against children remains hidden is the reluctance of many victims to disclose their abuse, seek help to cope with the experience or take actions to protect themselves from further victimization. Findings from 30 countries confirm this, with only 1 per cent of adolescent girls who had experienced forced sex saying they had sought professional help. This reluctance on the part of victims to report incidents to authorities or other professionals poses a challenge to exposing the true extent and nature of violence against children. The reasons why are varied but can include fear of retaliation, guilt, shame, confusion, lack of confidence in the abilities or willingness of others to help, or lack of knowledge of available support services. Cultural and social norms can also drive a victim’s reluctance to come forward or can dictate to whom she or he is expected to look to for assistance.

 

Only very few adolescent girls who have experienced forced sex sought professional help

Among girls aged 15 to 19 years who ever experienced forced sex, the percentage who sought help from professional sources

Notes: Professional sources of help include doctor/medical personnel, police, lawyer/court and social service organization. Data for Chad, Comoros, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Kenya, Nepal and Peru are based on 25 to 49 unweighted cases. Data for Afghanistan and Mali refer to ever-married girls aged 15 to 19 years who have ever experienced forced sex committed by a husband. The figures in this chart may overestimate help-seeking from professional sources for experiences of forced sex since they also include those who have ever experienced any physical violence and sought help.

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2017, based on DHS, 2005–2016.

 

VIOLENCE AT

SCHOOL

 

Worldwide, close to 130 MILLION (slightly more than 1 in 3) students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying.

 

About 3 IN 10 (17 million) young adolescents in 39 countries in Europe and North America admit to bullying others at school

 

732 MILLION (1 in 2) school-age children between 6 and 17 years live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.

 

59 school shootings that resulted in at least one reported fatality were recorded in 14 countries during the past 25 years. Nearly 3 IN 4 of these occurred in the United States.

 

 

 

 

In 2015, the HOMICIDE rate in Latin America and the Caribbean was FIVE times higher than the global average

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Righting a global wrong

The data and analysis presented in this report aim to influence the way we think and talk about the all-too-familiar faces of childhood violence. Governments, organizations and individuals everywhere should acknowledge the extent of violence against children, and intensify their efforts to end it.

Protecting children and adolescents against violence is a path toward more peaceful and inclusive societies, as called for by SDG 16. International commitment to the SDGs is a way of maintaining a sharp focus on this issue, both at the global and national levels.

We have the knowledge and the tools to prevent and respond to violence against children: It will take individual and collective action to right this global wrong.

UNODC, Vienna, 2014, p. 14, available at unodc

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

United Nations Children’s Fund

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

Permission is required to reproduce any part of this publication.

Permission will be freely granted to educational or non-profit organizations.

To request permission and for any other information on the publication, please contact:

UNICEF
Data and Analytics Section
Division of Data, Research and Policy
3 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1 212 326 7000
Email: data@unicef.org

All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify the information contained in this publication. For any data updates subsequent to printing, please visit data.unicef.org.

Suggested citation: United Nations Children’s Fund, A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents, UNICEF, New York, 2017.

ISBN: 978-92-806-4919-2

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

About us

UNICEF supports countries in collecting data related to children and women through Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), an international household survey programme. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, five rounds of MICS have been completed (in 1995-1996, 2000-2001, 2005-2006, 2009-2012, 2013-2015) and a sixth is now under way (2016-2018). As end of 2015, over 280 surveys have been implemented in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. Each round of surveys builds upon the last and offers new indicators to monitor trends and current priorities.

The MICS programme is designed to collect statistically sound, internationally comparable data on more than 100 indicators used by countries to assess the situation of children and women in the areas of education, health, gender equality, rights and protection. It also provides data required to monitor progress towards national and international goals and commitments aimed at promoting the welfare of children. As part of the MICS global programme, UNICEF provides technical support and training through a series of regional workshops covering questionnaire content, sampling and survey implementation, data processing, data quality and analysis, report writing, data archiving and dissemination and further analysis. During the last two rounds of MICS, close to 1,400 UNICEF staff and experts from developing countries were trained worldwide.

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys generated data on more than 20 indicators used to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making the programme one of the largest single sources of data for MDG monitoring. The data generated in the fifth round of MICS (along with other nationally representative household surveys) was critically important in the final assessment of the MDGs, which was launched by the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2015.

The MICS programme has pioneered the development and implementation of new measurement tools in areas such as early childhood development, female genital mutilation/cutting, child discipline, hand washing, post-natal health care, low birthweight, and rapid water quality testing. Many of these tools have also been adopted by other household survey programmes.

 

Data Dissemination

Researchers, programme managers and legislators worldwide count on UNICEF data to assess the situation of women and children and to plan and implement related policies and programmes. The media, both locally and internationally, also rely on such data to inform and substantiate their coverage of children and women and the issues that affect their lives.

Publications

UNICEF data are used for a variety of planning and monitoring purposes. They appear in UNICEF flagship publications such as The State of the World’s Children and Committing to Child Survival: A promise renewed and in a number of sector-specific reports. These include Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation; Malaria and Children; and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change.

MICS dissemination tools

Tools produced to disseminate MICS data at the country and regional levels include printed materials, presentations, web links and those focusing on the media. Selected country examples are presented here.

DevInfo

DevInfo supports UN member states in their use of national statistics for evidence-based policy and planning dialogues. At its core, the DevInfo programme revolves around a database system that provides a method to organize, store and display data in a uniform format that facilitates data access at the country level among government institutions, their development partners and the general public.

DevInfo is an integrated desktop and web-enabled tool that assists countries in their reporting on national and international targets such as the MDGs. It relies on user-friendly features designed for producing tables, graphs, maps and other visual outputs for inclusion in reports, presentations and various advocacy or planning materials. The software supports standard indicators, such as those used for monitoring the MDGs at the global level, yet can also be customized to fit the requirements of local indicator and monitoring frameworks at the regional or country level.

DevInfo is managed by UNICEF’s Division of Data, Research and Policy on behalf of the UN system. The latest version, DI 7.0 (http://www.devinfo.org/) features many new enhancements over previous versions, including:

  • Access: DevInfo 7.0 is entirely online, meaning that users can access available datasets from the convenience of their web-enabled desktop, laptop or mobile browser.
  • Catalog: DevInfo 7.0 features an online, searchable country catalogue. Countries have the option of hosting their data on devinfo.org in order to facilitate broad access to their datasets.
  • My Data: Easily prepare maps, graphs and other data visualizations by simply pasting your data into a box.
  • Gallery: Save presentation objects to a personal online gallery. Create public galleries for databases that you administer.
  • Share: Share visualization outputs with others via social media, email or page embedding.
 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017

 

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, please use the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

UNICEF
Data and Analytics Section
Division of Data, Research and Policy
3 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1 212 326 7000
Email: data@unicef.org

 

© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Division of Data, Research and Policy, November 2017