WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) joined his colleague U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) in introducing a resolution Wednesday that recognizes the harmful impact that violence has on child development, calls for a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to end violence against children globally and reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to ending their suffering. The introduction of the resolution follows International Youth Day, which was August 12.
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.
“One measure of our common humanity is how we care for and support our children. In too many ways we have come up short, particularly when it comes to protecting them from violence and keeping them safe. Senate passage of this resolution would encourage the U.S. government to create and begin implementing a strategy to prevent, address, and end violence against children and youth globally, in line with the international standards and sustainable development goals the international community aspires towards,” Cardin said.
“Congress and the State Department have been working on multiple fronts to promote global economic development, but failure to address violence against children—horrific acts like trafficking, child labor and proximity to violent conflicts—threatens to undermine those efforts every step of the way. Senate passage of this bipartisan resolution would send a strong message that having a plan to end violence against children must be a priority in our global development strategy,” Boozman said.
The resolution introduced by Cardin and Boozman seeks to ensure ending violence against children remains a global policy priority for the United States. It calls for government-wide coordination, enhanced methods of monitoring and an increase of public-private partnerships to prevent and respond to violence against children.