We remember the girls during these 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
We know that violence against girls is worldwide. It is perpetrated on every continent, in every social and economic class, and sanctioned to varying degrees by every form of government, every major religion, and every kind of communal or familial structure.
There is no place of complete refuge for the girl child, only promises of stronger legal regimes and more robust non-governmental assistance. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) defines a child as: a “human being below the age of 18 years, unless under the law applicable to that child, majority is attained earlier.”
Forced and Child Marriages entrap young girls in relationships that deprive them of their basic human rights. Female Genital Mutilation a widespread practice in parts of the world violates a series of well-established human rights principles.
Sexual exploitation, trafficking, and prostitution present significant risks to the girl child’s mental and physical health. UNICEF’s initiative to stop child trafficking includes boys and girls, however, we know that girls are at far greater risk for certain types of trafficking, including domestic labor and the sex trade.
In several countries, sexual harassment against the girls is prevalent both in the workplace and at school. Girls who are employed as domestic workers or as industrial laborers are vulnerable to sexual harassment and exploitation by their employers. Girls who attend school are often victimized by teachers or their peers.
Crimes Committed in the Name of “Honor” are targeted at thousands of girl children around the world who are killed each year for committing or being capable of committing transgressions deemed to be dishonorable. War’s most vulnerable victim is the girl child. This long list of acts of violence against girls in not exhaustive. As a human family we should be ashamed of ourselves to let this happen to the most vulnerable among us.