Work together to end sexual violence against children

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  • Every day, millions of children throughout the world are subjected to different forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. Sexual violence against children is one of the most appalling violations of a child’s rights.
    Sexual violence against children is a challenge for every country, and Myanmar is no exception.
    It is a global reality across all strata of society and in all countries of the world. It can take the form of sexual abuse, harassment, rape or sexual exploitation in prostitution or pornography. It is usually a silent, hidden, indivisible crime that both boys and girls face at home or outside, often at the hands of trusted adults.
    Talking about sexual violence is difficult because of the many taboos that surround the issues of sexuality, abuse and exploitation. In fact, cases of sexual violence against children are even more difficult to talk about because a culture of silence and shame suppresses any discussion concerning sex and children.
    Almost every country in the world, including Myanmar, has committed to protecting the rights of children by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It is the most universally ratified human rights treaty in human history. Myanmar became a State Party of that optional protocol in 2012.
    In order to address the sexual violence against children issue, we have to collaborate and cooperate with many partners. In effect, preventing and responding to sexual violence against children should be everybody’s business. Children’s hopes and expectations require the State to act now with real urgency to fulfill their obligations to children as rights-holders.
    To end physical violence against children, Myanmar has been working with local and foreign organizations to end sexual abuse against children and rehabilitate them.
    After assuming office, the new government has made efforts to improve the livelihoods of people so they can enjoy basic human rights and live with integrity.
    A five-year campaign to end physical and sexual violence against children was launched two days ago in Nay Pyi Taw by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and World Vision Myanmar.
    World Vision Myanmar will form committees to carry out educational activities targeting some 50,000 parents, teachers and children as part of the effort to prevent crime in Myanmar and protect the rights of children.
    We hope that the programme will help end physical and sexual violence in Myanmar.
    It’s about time we take urgent measures to stop sexual violence against children.
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