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‘Out Of The Shadows Index’ Shining a Light on the Global Response to Sexual Violence Against Children

May 22, 2019
The Economist Intelligence Unit's index measures how individual countries address child sexual abuse and exploitation for 85% of the global population under 19 years of age. The Index also shares best practice solutions for both the private and
The Economist Intelligence Unit's index measures how individual countries address child sexual abuse and exploitation for 85% of the global population under 19 years of age. The Index also shares best practice solutions for both the private and

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index measures how individual countries address child sexual abuse and exploitation for 85% of the global population under 19 years of age. The Index also shares best practice solutions for both the private and public sector.

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 22, 2019 / Today, the World Childhood Foundation USA (WCF) announced the latest findings of ‘Out of the Shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation.’ Combatting sexual violence against children requires a stronger and more targeted response from governments and businesses around the world, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Out of the Shadows Index. Developed with support from the World Childhood Foundation and Oak Foundation and with additional support from the Carlson Family Foundation, the Out of the Shadows Index measures how 60 countries are addressing sexual abuse and exploitation of children. The index, which focuses on policies, practices and standards, reveals that governments, the private sector and civil society can do more to protect children from sexual violence and to achieve Target 16.2 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for ending all forms of violence against children by 2030.

The index covers a comprehensive range of critical issues, including education and awareness- building, reproductive health, gender norms, victim support, law enforcement and child sexual abuse online. Index indicators also focus on the engagement of businesses in the technology and travel/tourism sectors in fighting child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Key findings from the Out of the Shadows study:

“It is our hope that the Out of the Shadows Index will help spur collective action to prevent and address the global challenge of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The index focuses on the response of the key stakeholders -- governments, NGOs and the private sector - and should help create impactful solutions,” said Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Childhood Foundation USA and Commissioner of The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.

“Based on the research findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit, these solutions should also address the new threats that children are exposed to online. All of the Index countries can do more to protect children and with the engagement of private industry, specifically the Information and Communications Technology sector, can play a vital role in protecting children from abuse.”

WCF’s technology-focused initiatives include engagement of the private sector, in particular the information and communication technology companies, and their use of technology to fight the universal problem of child sexual abuse. This includes the Stewards of Children PreventionToolkit mobile app, which WCF USA developed in partnership with Darkness2Light and the global telecom company, Ericsson. The app helps to educate adults about how to reduce the risks and recognize the signs of abuse; how to talk to children and react to a suspicion or disclosure of abuse.

“How can one address a threat to children when it lives in the shadows? The answer is simply, we can’t. If we want to end the sexual exploitation of children, we must first build awareness and by so doing, ignite a sense of urgency that drives cross-sector partnerships focused on ensuring no child lives this reality,” said Wendy Nelson, Chair of the Carlson Family Foundation. “It is this fact that spurred The Carlson Family Foundation to join in partnership to develop the “Out of the Shadows Index’. The index is critical to bringing an end to the exploitation of children by spotlighting accountability in the system and uncovering opportunities for a shared commitment to every child’s safety.”

Out of the Shadows Index Framework and Categories

This index benchmarks the context in which sexual violence against children is happening; the legal and institutional underpinnings in place to combat sexual violence; and how stakeholders are responding across 60 countries. Categories for the framework include:

Sexual violence against children is a universal threat-no boy or girl is immune. The emotional and health consequences linger, and the socioeconomic impacts can be devastating.

What can countries and companies do? Barriers and pathways to progress in fighting sexual violence against children are discussed in detail in the index report and data model, which are available online at outoftheshadows.eiu.com.

About World Childhood Foundation (WCF)

WCF envisions a world where all children are free from violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Founded in 1999 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, WCF invests in the development of solutions to prevent and address child sexual abuse and exploitation. WCF, a UN accredited NGO, directly supports >100 projects globally and raises awareness about our cause. WCF’s work is aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 - ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children by 2030. For more information, please visit: www.childhood-usa.org

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SOURCE: World Childhood Foundation USA