NALURO ESTATE, SAGNARIGU DISTRICT –A global research report released ahead of the post-2015 agenda has indicated that, children are clear that violence perpetrated against them must be part of the new global agenda.
The study, commissioned by ChildFund Alliance and conducted by Overseas Development Institute (ODI), reveals that the total costs of physical, psychological and sexual violence committed against children globally, cost up to US$7 trillion a year.
According to the Communications Officer of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) William Anim-Dankwa, the estimate is based on previous research on costs of violence against children in high and middle-income countries. “Researchers used these estimates to obtain a global cost in terms of productivity loss for the total number of victims in a given year.
Addressing a press conference in Saganarigu, he said the research also estimates that, the global cost of children forced to work in hazardous conditions, which deprives them of their livelihood, amounts to more than US$97 billion every year; and that the annual costs of children being recruited by armed forces and groups are US$144 million.
“This research is adding to the weight that governments need to ensure that violence against children is addressed in their new global agenda, which children around the world are calling for world leaders to do”, he stressed.
The study said, children strongly endorsed that the gains made under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should continue, with their top three issues being: the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (82%), universal primary education (81%) and the eradication of HIV/AIDS (74%).
The ChildFund Alliance conducted over 50 consultations with children in 40 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe including Ghana. This study of over 2,300 individual children collected their views, aspirations and priorities for the post 2015 agenda. The Ghana consultations involved children from Savelugu, Kanvili and Gburimani in the Northern Region.
In 82% of all participating countries, the study reveals that, children want prevention of violence and exploitation to be one of the new priorities for the years following 2015, and made specific calls for ending bullying, child labour, child marriage, child trafficking, corporal punishment, female genital mutilation and cutting, recruitment of children by armed forces or groups, and violence in schools.
According to the study, they want governments to ensure that everyone –men and women, boys and girls –can benefit from good quality education and healthcare systems. On the environment, children said they want more trees planted than cut (67%); less use of toxic materials and more recycling (59%); and less greenhouse emissions and clearner air (31%).
Children want to be involved in the monitoring of the next generation of development goals, and are aware of the importance of measuring progress at the local level, and with the direct engagement of the communities.