UNICEF: Worldwide 300 million children suffer from violent methods of upbringing

Michel, [NAME CHANGED], 14, participates in a group therapy session at a shelter for children who have been abused or sexually exploited. She was twice kidnapped, drugged and raped by a family member. Despite repeated threats from him – he lives nearby with his wife – Michel and her mother reported the rape to the police where the case is progressing. But, other extended family members are not supportive. Michel’s father committed suicide in front of her when she was very young. Michel is working with social workers at the shelter and attends group therapy sessions with other adolescent girls who have survived sexual exploitation or other forms of abuse. [#8 IN SEQUENCE OF TWELVE]

In November 2012 in Guatemala, the Government and other partners are continuing to assure sustained routine immunization of children – now reaching 92 per cent of all infants – against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases. The country’s last endemic case of measles was in 1997. In the entire Americas Region (covering North, Central and South America), the last endemic measles case was in 2002 and the last endemic case of rubella was in 2009 – part of global efforts to eradicate these diseases. Worldwide, measles remains a leading cause of death among young children: In 2010, an estimated 139,300 people – mainly children under the age of 5 – died from the disease. Nevertheless, these deaths decreased by 71 per cent from 2001 to 2011, thanks in part to the Measles & Rubella Initiative, a global partnership led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WHO and UNICEF. In Guatemala, despite this success, significant other challenges for children remain, much of it related to poverty levels that affect more than half of all children and adolescents. Poverty also contributes to chronic malnutrition affecting half of all under-5 children (with higher rates among indigenous populations); an average national education level of under six years of primary school (under three years for the rural poor); and high, though decreasing, rates of violence. Guatemala is also one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, suffering a major climate-related emergency every year since 2008. On the positive side, birth registration is improving, with more than 95 per cent of newborns now being registered. UNICEF is working with the Government and other partners to sustain achievements in health, address the high levels of malnutrition, strengthen responses to crimes against children and increase protection services for children throughout public services.

press release

Worldwide 300 million children suffer from violent methods of upbringing - UNICEF

BISHKEK/NEW YORK, 1 November 2017 - Three-quarters of the world’s 2- to 4-year-old children – around 300 million – experience psychological aggression and/or physical punishment by their caregivers at home, UNICEF said in a new report A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents released today. Every 7 minutes a teenager dies from violent death in the world.

“The harm inflicted on children around the world is truly worrying,” - said UNICEF Chief of Child Protection Cornelius Williams. “Babies slapped in the face; girls and boys forced into sexual acts; adolescents murdered in their communities – violence against children spares no one and knows no boundaries. “

“Violence against children is a problem in every society and it happens in families, schools and institutions. It could be violent discipline, psychological aggression, physical punishment, child trafficking, economic and sexual exploitation, child marriage,“ - explains Munir Mammadzade, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Kyrgyzstan. "In Kyrgyzstan, 57 per cent of children are physically punished at home. Victims and witnesses of child abuse could call the hotline 111, established by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and use the services provided by centers helping children affected by violence in Bishkek, Talas, Karakol and Tyup,"- he added.

A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents uses the very latest data to show that children experience violence across all stages of childhood and in all settings:

Violence against young children in their homes:

·        Three-quarters of the world’s 2- to 4-year-old children – around 300 million – experience psychological aggression and/or physical punishment by their caregivers at home;

·        Around 6 in 10 one year olds in 30 countries with available data are subjected to violent discipline on a regular basis. Nearly a quarter of one-year-olds are physically shaken as punishment and nearly 1 in 10 are hit or slapped on the face, head or ears.

·        Worldwide, 1 in 4 children under age five – 177 million – are living with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.

Sexual violence against girls and boys:

·        Worldwide, around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts in their lifetime.

·        Only 1 per cent of adolescent girls who had experienced sexual violence said they reached out for professional help.

·        In the 28 countries with data, 90 per cent of adolescent girls who had experienced forced sex, on average, said the perpetrator of the first incident was known to them. Data from six countries reveals friends, classmates and partners were among the most frequently cited perpetrators of sexual violence against adolescent boys.

Violent deaths among adolescents:

·        Globally, every 7 minutes an adolescent is killed by an act of violence.

Violence in schools:

·        Half the population of school-age children – 732 million – live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.

UNICEF prioritises efforts to end violence across all its work, including supporting government efforts to improve services for children affected by violence, developing policies and legislation that protect children, and helping communities, parents and children to prevent violence through practical programmes like parenting courses and actions against domestic violence.

To end violence against children, UNICEF is calling for governments to take urgent action, including:

·        Establishing national plans to reduce violence against children – incorporating education, social welfare, justice and health systems, as well as communities and children themselves.

·        Changing behaviours of adults and addressing factors that contribute to violence against children, including economic and social inequities, social and cultural norms that condone violence, inadequate policies and legislation, insufficient services for victims, and limited investments in effective systems to prevent and respond to violence.

·        Focussing national policies on minimizing violent behaviour, reducing inequalities, and limiting access to firearms and other weapons.

·        Building social service systems and training social workers to provide referrals, counselling and therapeutic services for children who have experienced violence.

·        Educating children, parents, teachers, and community members to recognise violence in all its many forms and empowering them to speak out and report violence safely.

·        Collecting better disaggregated data on violence against children.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work in Kyrgyzstan visit: https://www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan and follow us on FacebookInstagram и Twitter

For more information, please contact:

Georgina Thompson, UNICEF New York, Mobile: + 1 917 238 1559, gthompson@unicef.org

Tynymgul Eshieva, UNICEF Kyrgyzstan, Mobile +996777919143, teshieva@unicef.org