In 2007, Eswatini (then Swaziland) was the very first country to undertake the groundbreaking Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS). This unprecedented, inceptual survey was the first of its kind, globally, to collect national level data on the sexual, physical, and emotional violence against girls and young adult females between the ages of 13 and 24. It was led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, with support from UNICEF, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and UNAIDS. Implemented by the Swaziland Central Statistics Office with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Since then, all future VACS worldwide have included boys’ experiences. In 2021, data collection was completed for Eswatini’s second VACS, this time including the experiences of both boys and girls.
In September 2023, Eswatini launched the VACS report, which presents the main indicators from Eswatini’s second VACS. The survey was led by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office (DPMO) in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Central Statistical Office (CSO) and with technical support from ICAP at Columbia University and CDC and funding provided by PEPFAR.
Conducting a second VACS allows the opportunity to measure progress made since the first VACS, identify emerging shifts in violence against children, evaluate ongoing efforts, and identify opportunities to create safer communities for every child, adolescent, and youth.
The key objectives of the 2022 Eswatini VACS were to:
VACS completed, implementing response
In 2021, data collection was completed for Eswatini’s second VACS, this time including the experiences of both boys and girls. On December 7, 2022, Eswatini launched its Priority Indicator Report (PIR), which presents the priority indicators from Eswatini’s second VACS.
Data collection for the second VACS in Eswatini
The Government of Eswatini hosted the first Violence Against Children Global Meeting: “From Research to Action: Advancing Prevention and Response to Violence Against Children”, where participants from 20 countries engaged with the VACS process met to discuss progress, research on what works to prevent and respond to violence, and next steps.
Passed the Children’s Protection and Welfare Bill and the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill in 2011.