Global VAC Meeting: “From Research to Action: Advancing Prevention and Response to Violence Against Children” Key Findings and Presentations
At the invitation of the Government of Swaziland, with support from UNICEF and Together for Girls partners including the U.S. government, 20 countries from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean gathered to share evidence and practice on the prevention and response to violence against children, with a focus on sexual violence and girls.
Over 180 individuals, including teams of government, civil society, development partners and international experts participated from all sectors, including social affairs, health, education and justice.
There was a rich exchange between countries as they discussed their experiences using the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) to mobilize a national multi-sector response and state of the art programming at national, district and community levels. Topics spanned from scaling up one-stop centers, violence-free schools and girl empowerment programmes to monitoring and financing national child protection programs.
Key outcomes and findings included:
- All countries agreed to place the issue of violence prevention and children on the national agenda, and will seek leadership at the highest possible level with investments including in multi-sector coordination.
- Strong interest was generated around the benefits of the VACS data and associated processes to build capacity, understanding of the issue and mobilize a response. Undertaking a VACS was a priority for countries that had not yet done so. For those that had, interest was focused on integrating the data and evidence generated from the VACS into programmes targeting violence prevention and response.
- For some prevention and response strategies, enough evidence exists to warrant investment and a gradual scale-up paired with evaluation. These include support for parenting and families, safe schools, one stop centers and programmes that build girls’ assets. Newer areas that need attention include prevention programmes targeting younger adolescent boys and identifying abuse in younger children.
For a deeper look at the ideas and practices shared during the global meeting in Swaziland, explore a selection of speaker presentations:
Links Between VAC & VAW: Implications for Prevention
Presented by Emma Fulu, Medical Research Council South Africa, Gender and Health Unit
Community-Based Mental Health Care
Presented by Juliet Nakku, Deputy Director, Butabika National Psychiatric Referral Hospital and lecturer, Makerere University, Uganda
Community-Based Advocacy and Activism for VAC VAG Prevention
Presented by Cebile Manzini-Henwood, Executive Director, Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA)
Evidence-Based Prevention and Response Programming Male Involvement
Presented by Patrick Godana, Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa
Tanzania’s Experience in Developing a National Child Protection System
Presented by Jeanne Karamaga Ndyetabura, Assistant Commissioner, Child Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Department of Social Welfare, Tanzania
Assessing Levels of Violence Focusing Interventions and Tracking Progress
Presented by Gareth Jones, Director, Adeni Consulting, Canada