Violence Against Children adopts in its title the exhortation of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, "Making Human Rights Real," which also represents the leitmotif of the book. It examines the prevalence of violence against children in Africa, the Asia Pacific Region, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and in the United States, and explores major ways of its prevention. Making human rights real engenders the challenge of helping all children to be free from violence and to lead a life replete with genuine nurture and the elimination of all violence. Only in this manner will the goal of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development —target 16.2—be achieved and the child as a rights-bearing individual realized in her/his fullness.
The specially commissioned chapters that make up the volume have been written by renowned scholars, researchers and advocates. They coalesce to provide an overview of the challenges facing children exposed to violence worldwide, and they advance discussions of the measures which are available and necessary for the prevention of violence against children. The book is intended for policy-makers, researchers and students of the social sciences and human rights who are interested in ending all the widespread maltreatment of children in our societies and our time.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
Paolo Sérgio Pinheiro
Preface : Freedom from Violence for all Children
1 General Introduction: Violence against Children: From a Hidden Phenomenon to a Global Concern
Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children
Part I. General and International Dimensions of Violence against Children
2 Violence against Children: Endemic, Detrimental, Preventable
Susan Hillis, James A. Mercy, Howard Kress, Alexander Butchart
3 INSPIRE: Using the Best Evidence to Prevent Violence against Children
Alexander Butchart, Susan Hillis, Stephanie Burrows
4 The Global Movement to End All Corporal Punishment of Children
Joan E. Durant
5 Confronting Child Exploitation: The Optional Protocols and the Role of Children’s Rights Law
6 Violence against Children in Africa
7 Violence against Children in the Asia Pacific Region
Victor P. Karunan and Neelam Singh
8 Current Perspectives on Violence against Children in Europe
Kevin Lalor and Rosaleen McElvaney
9 Violence against Children in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Review of Population-Based Data Avaliable for Measuring Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sarah Bott, Alessandra C. Guides, Constanza Hege, Jennifer Adams Mendoza
10 Epigenetic and Multigenerational Impact of Adversity
Frances A. Champagne
PART II. Violence against Children and the United States
11 Violence in the Lives of Children in the United States
12 The U.S. Department of Justice Defending Childhood Initiative: Advancing the Cause of Children Exposed to Violence
Phelan Wyrick and Dara Blachman-Demner
13 The Problem of Corporal Punishment and the Solution of Positive Parenting in the United States
George W. Holden and Rose Ashraf
14 The Violence of Child Poverty
Marian Wright Edelman
15 The Violence of Child Homelessness in the United States
Patricia Julianelle and Irene Sauceda
16 The Urgent Need to Disrupt Structural Violence against Children in American Foster Care
Ira Lustbader and Elissa Glucksman Hyne
17 School to Prison Pipeline
Rosa K. Hirji
18 Racial and Ethnic Disparities of Children in the United States: Pursuing Equity and Engaging Structural Racism in Youth Serving Systems
19 Youth Prisons as a Form of Violence: An International Human Rights Perspective
Gertrud Lenzer is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Children’s Studies at The City University of New York. She has published widely in the fields of philosophy and the social sciences, children’s rights and children’s studies. In 1991, Lenzer was both the founder of the interdisciplinary field of Children’s Studies as well as the Founding Chair of the Sociology of Children Section of the American Sociological Association. Her current work includes an appointment to the 16-member New York State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights from 2015–2020.
Drawing from the expertise of scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, Violence against Children: Making Human Rights Real is the definitive resource for anyone seeking to understand and combat all forms of child maltreatment. Firmly rooted in a holistic, public health perspective, each chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the data and research relevant to different forms of violence, from physical and sexual abuse to poverty, homelessness, racism, and youth incarceration. The chapters also offer compelling proposals for prevention and intervention, covering policy, systemic and programmatic solutions. A major contribution to the field, and a critically important book.
Patrick McCarthy, Ph. D., President and CEO, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Taking stock of the international actions and lessons learned which are highlighted in this important book, it is evident that the international community needs to urgently shift action from reaction to prevention. Thus, the important contributions provided by renowned advocates and researchers are a compelling source of inspiration to advance our advocacy effort to end violence against children worldwide.
Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Independent Expert for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children
Experiences early in life have a powerful effect on the trajectory of brain and body development over the life course, both good and bad. Violence Against Children provides a compelling overview of the terrible negative impact of such violence worldwide, including the impact of poverty, homelessness and foster care, but also discussing the value of positive parenting and the resilience of the human being.
Bruce S. McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and Head, Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University
Gertrud Lenzer has long been a noteworthy pioneer in the effort to redress the grievous social and moral epidemic of violence against children. The present collection of essays she has edited will help us all understand the dimensions of the problem and the ways we might address them. Bravo!
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
In Violence against Children: Making Human Rights Real, Gertrud Lenzer puts a welcome spotlight on the multi-national campaign to spare children from violence. Making Human Rights Real brings together scholars and human rights advocates who illuminate global progress since the United Nations and Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro challenged the world in 2006 with their World Report on Violence against Children. This superb volume examines violence—in all its forms--in different regions of the world. It provides thoughtful insights, diagnoses and prescriptions. Making Human Rights Real should be read by government officials, NGOs, the private sector—indeed, anyone who is committed to advancing human rights and reducing harm to the planet’s most vulnerable population.
Robert G. Schwartz, Esq., Beck Chair in Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Executive Director Emeritus, Juvenile Law Center
Violence Against Children: Making Human Rights Real presents the inspiring perspective of some of the world’s leading advocates and scholars. It also ambitiously summarizes the state of the movement in much of the world, while also covering many of the key challenges for children’s rights advocates in the US. It should become an important touchstone for all those interested in making progress on this crucial topic.
David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire
Violence against children is one of the biggest challenges that we face in our collective efforts to create a world fit for children, and if the world is indeed serious about preventing and addressing violence against children, all stakeholders should treat the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child not as a "wish list" but as a "to-do list." The rich multi-disciplinary evidence proffered in this volume helps to move us in the direction of the latter.
Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur, University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Chair, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.