WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) John Boozman (R-Ark.) and introduced a bipartisan resolution that calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion children worldwide are exposed to physical, sexual and mental violence in their communities, which includes being subjected to abuse, maltreatment, exploitation and more.
Research shows exposure to violence negatively impacts a young person’s cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, the global economic impact of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children can be as high as $7 trillion, or eight percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
“Millions of children around the world have lost their childhoods to physical, sexual and mental violence and abuse. As adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and prevent the types of inhumane treatment and developmental roadblocks found in far too many corners of the world,” Cardin said. “This is a local issue and a global one. I am proud to stand with Senator Boozman to lead the call for the U.S. government to develop and implement a strategy to address the widespread dangers being faced by children and youth that is in line with international standards and sustainable development goals.”
“The outcomes the United States hopes to achieve with our global economic development initiatives will struggle to fully take hold in countries where violence against children goes unaddressed. Horrific acts like human trafficking and child labor have tragic lifelong consequences for individual children and devastate entire communities. This bipartisan resolution sends a strong message that a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy. We can maximize the results from initiatives like the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act—which Senator Cardin and I worked hard to pass into law—if we promote the need for an effective strategy to create a safe environment for children in violence-prone areas of the world,” Boozman said.
Specifically, the resolution would resolve that the Senate:
- Condemns all forms of violence against children and youth globally, including physical, mental and sexual violence as well as neglect, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation;
- Recognizes the harmful impact violence against children and youth has on the healthy development of children;
- Should develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated strategy built upon evidence-based practices, including the INSPIRE package of interventions, and adopt common metrics and indicators to monitor progress across U.S. government agencies to prevent, address and end violence against children and youth globally.
The resolution is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).