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Safe Blog

Every child safe: Uniting key actors in the global fight to end violence against children

21st May 2024


  • Chrissy Hart
    Chrissy Hart

    Director of Policy & Advocacy; Regional Lead, Sub-Saharan Africa,
    Together for Girls

  • Daniela Ligiero headshot new
    Daniela Ligiero

    Chief Executive Officer & President, Together for Girls

It is estimated that approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys will experience some form of sexual violence before their 18th birthday. Violence against children and adolescents remains a global pandemic.

Violence is a devastating reality for half of the world's children; 1 billion experience abuse annually. This not only infringes on their rights but also has profound implications for their health, societal participation, and the global economy.

Despite efforts made at the national level, we still lack a global and coordinated approach to preventing and addressing violence against children.

The big vision: No child left behind

To confront this crisis, the Governments of Colombia and Sweden, WHO, UNICEF, and the UN Special Representative on Ending Violence Against Children will host the first-ever "Ministerial conference on ending violence against children" in Bogotá, Colombia, on 6-7 November 2024.

This landmark event aims to catalyze global action, secure commitments to proven prevention strategies, and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure every child lives free from violence.

Every child safe: Demanding action now

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Brave Movement logo
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Un foundation

The next six months offer an unprecedented opportunity to prioritize the safety of children and adolescents.

Leading this effort, Together for Girls, Girl Up, the Brave Movement, and the UN Foundation, are gathering a key group of decision-makers and influencers in Washington from across government, the UN system and civil society to raise the visibility of and advocate for strong engagement in this landmark event.

"Every child safe" is a critical global moment for connecting U.S. efforts on violence against children and child protection in May, six months out in the lead up to the milestone ministerial conference in Bogotá. This special discussion will flag the progress needed to address violence against children, adolescents and sexual and gender-based violence against girls.

View the event program for "Every child safe" on May 22, 2024

Panelists and guest speakers

Elizabeth Cousens Headshot

Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO, United Nations Foundation

A diplomat and thought leader who has worked on the frontlines of peace processes, Elizabeth played an influential role in UN policy innovations from peacebuilding to the Sustainable Development Goals, and helped build public-private partnerships to solve global challenges at scale. She has written widely on conflict management, peace processes, state-building, and the United Nations.

Najat Maalla Mjid
Image credit: United Nations

Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

Dr. M’jid worked as an international expert on developing and monitoring integrated child protection strategies and policies, as well as on social and development policies. As a member of several regional and international non-governmental organizations and networks working for children’s rights, Dr. M’jid is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her strong commitment to protecting children and their rights.

Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan, Grammy Award-Winning singer, actress & survivor advocate

Gloria Estefan is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and author of two New York Times best-selling children’s books. Gloria is a survivor of childhood sexual violence, sharing her experience publicly since 2021, and a child protection advocate. She is also a Brave Champion of the Brave Movement, a survivor-led global advocacy movement campaigning to end childhood sexual violence.

Daniela Ligiero headshot new

Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Chief Executive Officer & President, Together for Girls & Founder, Brave Movement

Daniela co-founded the Brave Movement, a Together for Girls special initiative. This survivor-led global advocacy movement addresses childhood sexual violence through policy change and increased funding, including issues such as ending statutes of limitations and ensuring online safety for children.

Her extensive experience extends to the World Bank, the U.S. Senate, and direct work with sexual assault survivors. Dr. Ligiero is a survivor of childhood sexual violence, openly sharing her experience for over a decade.

Dr Lauren Rumble

Dr. Lauren Rumble, PhD, Associate Director for Gender Equality, UNICEF

Lauren has been working as a child and women’s rights advocate with the United Nations and other organisations for the past 15 years. She is passionate about using evidence to influence policy and leverage greater investments for women and girls, including to end poverty and violence.

Lauren will explain how UNICEF is working to support governments in addressing the intersections of gender, age, and violence during a moment of global pushback on gender equality.

Rachel Vogelstein

Rachel Vogelstein, Deputy Director & Special Assistant to the President, White House Gender Policy Council & Special Advisor on Gender, White House National Security Council

Rachel Vogelstein serves in the Biden Administration as Deputy Director and Special Assistant to the President at the White House Gender Policy Council and Special Advisor on Gender at the White House National Security Council.

On this panel Rachel will discuss the linkages between U.S. efforts to advance gender equality and the rights of adolescent girls and the opportunity around U.S. engagement in the Ministerial at Bogotá.

Smita Baruah

Smita Baruah, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, Save the Children US

Smita has over two decades of experience in setting strategic direction, vision and providing leadership on public policy, advocacy and communications strategies. She has represented organizations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America in global policy, with experience in mobilizing civil society on domestic and global HIV/AIDS, global maternal and child health, vaccines, and humanitarian crisis response.

Smita will outline what StC US wants to see from the U.S. policy-makers overall to strengthen U.S. leadership on violence prevention and response.

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Tom Krumins, Chief of Staff, Brave Movement & survivor advocate

Tom is committed to advancing trauma-informed solutions through policy, education, and community mobilization. As a survivor of childhood sexual violence, Tom is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of survivors and the importance of advocacy at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels. He uses his deep knowledge of the trauma survivors face and the institutional barriers they encounter to educate, inform, and create change.

Tom will outline how the Brave Movement engages in the landmark Violence Against Children Ministerial, and how allies can support survivor leadership and advocacy.

Elsa B

Elsa B., Girl Up Youth Leader

Elsa (she/her) is a high school junior from Washington, DC passionate about exploring the connections between gender equality and environmental justice. She is a Girl Up Mid-Atlantic coalition leader and is currently working to create a DC Youth Climate Council.

Elsa has been heavily involved in sexual health advocacy, co-authoring a published paper on expanding access to PrEP medication for cis and trans women and working on the DC Youth Advisory Council for Health. As part of her activism, Elsa has testified at DC City Council hearings, spoken at a NOAA event for young changemakers, and led support efforts for local women’s shelters. She cares deeply about counteracting the sexual and gender based violence targeted towards girls every day.

Every child deserves to be safe

Despite progress, we are not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children, but at the highest levels of leadership, and as a global community, for example, we've agreed on the importance of children being healthy and educated.

Child survival rates have improved remarkably over the past three decades. Today, 1 in 27 children die before reaching age five, compared to 1 in 11 in 1990; and more children than ever before in history are now completing primary school.

However, the truth is that we haven't made the same kind of commitment to ensuring every child is safe. Every child deserves to be healthy, educated and safe.

Through our Safe Future Hub, we know there are proven, evidence-based solutions to ending violence against children.

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This year, we have a unique opportunity to drive global progress on this issue. In November, the world will come together for the first time to prioritize ending violence against children. We have an opportunity to create change for generations to come, to make it clear, as a global community, that we care deeply about every child being healthy, educated, and safe.