June 29, 2022 — At the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders summit in Germany, global leaders, for the first time, formally committed to acting against child sexual abuse and exploitation, both online and offline. The final G-7 leaders’ communiqué, released Tuesday, also commits to strengthening and expanding initiatives to advance gender equality worldwide. Together for Girls welcomes these commitments as an important step elevating the scourge of childhood sexual violence and gender-based violence within the global agenda.
In the communiqué, G-7 leaders recognize the urgent need for action to combat sexual violence against children and women: “The pandemic, the war against Ukraine and further international conflicts, including in Afghanistan, have exacerbated the threat of trafficking in human beings, aimed at sexual and labour exploitation and abuse, particularly of children and women. We commit to step up our fight against trafficking in human beings and our efforts to prevent and combat child sexual abuse and exploitation globally, both online and offline. We ask our Interior Ministers to take forward the implementation of the Action plan to combat Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse from September 2021.”
In addition, the G-7 leaders also reaffirmed the importance of advancing gender equality. The communiqué states: “Achieving gender equality is imperative as we strive for resilient, inclusive democratic societies, and to counter the rising tide of authoritarianism and backlash against women’s and girls’ rights across the globe. We reaffirm our full commitment to a sustained focus on realising equality between women and men as well as transgender and non-binary people, and to ensuring that everyone – independent of their gender identity or expression or sexual orientation – has the same opportunities and is protected against discrimination and violence. To this end, we commit to redoubling our efforts to overcome longstanding structural barriers and to addressing harmful gender norms, stereotypes, roles, and practices.”
The G-7 commitments are an opportunity to strengthen and expand global evidence-based policies and programs to ensure a safe future for everyone: children, adolescents and adults.
“Now more than ever, we must ensure a lifecycle approach to ending sexual and gender-based violence,” said Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO of Together for Girls and Co-Founder of the Brave Movement. “Our approach must connect efforts between those working to end violence against children and those working to end violence against women.”
As part of Together for Girls efforts to drive action to end sexual violence through data and advocacy, Together for Girls is a proud partner and catalyzer of the Brave Movement to End Childhood Sexual Violence. The Brave Movement is a survivor-centered, feminist movement fighting for an end to sexual violence against all children and adolescents, including disrupting cycles of violence against boys. This work is vital because all children, independent of their sex and gender identity, deserve to be protected, but also because addressing sexual violence against children interrupts longstanding cycles of violence that affect adults.
Launched in March of 2022, the Brave Movement demands action from G-7 leaders with bold Calls to Action and a roadmap of strategies to combat sexual violence against children. In May, nine survivors from the Brave Movement created a Change.org petition that received nearly 72,000 supporters from around the world. Last week, on the eve of the summit, the Brave Movement launched the #BeBrave G-7 Scorecard at an emergency press conference to drive attention to the need for immediate action from leaders.
Together for Girls connects diverse groups of individuals and organizations united through a shared vision to end sexual violence against children. We believe that only by working together can we break cycles of violence and create a safer world for all children and adolescents. As part of our advocacy pillar, we support and catalyze movements of survivors and allies. Read about the history of the Brave Movement and see how Together for Girls is amplifying survivor voices here.
About Together for Girls
Together for Girls is a global partnership working to end violence against children and adolescents, particularly sexual violence against girls. The partnership brings together more than 20 national governments, civil society organizations, UN entities, development partners, and the private sector to improve violence prevention, healing and justice. Together for Girls uses an innovative model of data, advocacy and action to drive lasting change and create a safer world for all.
In Munich, a breakthrough moment as G-7 leaders committed to action to address childhood sexual violence in their countries and around the world and to strengthen their commitments toward gender equality