Swedish Queen wishes for #MeToo movement for abuse of kids

Queen Silvia of Sweden, founder of the World Childhood Foundation, reviews a report on child online safety from the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, during a high level meeting at the United Nations, October 1, 2019.

Queen Silvia of Sweden, founder of the World Childhood Foundation, reviews a report on child online safety from the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, during a high level meeting at the United Nations, October 1, 2019.

By EDITH M. LEDEREROctober 1, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Queen Silvia of Sweden, an early campaigner against the exploitation and sexual abuse of children, said Tuesday she wishes there had been a #MeToo movement for children 25 years ago because in the 1990s nobody wanted to hear about violence against youngsters.

“It was too ugly,” she said Tuesday. “Nobody could believe that it really happened. It was taboo.”

The wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf said she became involved with the issue after being shocked by a 1993 case in Sweden involving a young man selling child pornography on the internet.

She became the patron of the First World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm in 1996. That spurred her to become a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation, which she said has established more than 1,000 projects in 25 countries and reached hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children since it was started in 1999.

Silvia was at the United Nations on Tuesday speaking out about the growth of child sex abuse, exploitation and pornography on the internet — and the failure of many governments and tech companies to stop it.

In a speech and an interview afterward, she pointed to the World Health Organization’s estimate that every year 200 million children are sexually abused, and increasingly this either takes place online or is distributed online.

“And, of course, it’s very hidden, so the figures are much, much bigger than we think,” Silvia said.

She mentioned 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who addressed world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly last week and told them: “You have stolen my dreams, and my childhood.”

Silvia said the dreams and childhoods of children who are victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking have also had their dreams and childhoods stolen.

“Do we listen to them?” she asked. “Do we dare? How dare we NOT listen to them.”

Silvia said it’s difficult to comprehend that 50 years after the first landing on the moon “we are still struggling to make progress on ending violence and sexual abuse and exploitation of children.”

Instead, she said, “we find new challenges, especially misuse of the internet,” which in the hands of “evil people” has become an enabler for child abuse and exploitation.

“We all have to work very hard to change the laws, to ensure children’s rights,” she said, and to get tech companies to take responsibility for what is on their platforms, and makers of computer games that children are playing on the internet to take responsibility for their content.

Silvia said the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls “is extremely important, and it’s very good it happened. But I wish that also 25 years ago, that we would have #MeToo for children because nobody wanted to ask, and nobody wanted to see.”

She said Tuesday’s high-level U.N. meeting on child online safety will be followed by a round-table meeting that she and the king will host in November at the Royal Palace in Stockholm “to explore how we can use artificial intelligence as a catalyst for child safety online, inviting experts from both tech, business and child protection.”

The former Silvia Renate Sommerlath, who was born in Germany, met then Swedish Crown Prince Carl Gustav at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich where she was working as a hostess. He succeeded to the throne after his father’s death the following year and they were married in Stockholm Cathedral on June 19, 1976.

At a musical performance the night before, the Swedish pop group ABBA performed “Dancing Queen” for the first time in Silvia’s honor. It became a global hit.

Does she still like the song and still dance to it?

“Yes, of course! Of course!” the queen replied, laughing. “It was a wonderful moment. It really was.”

RoomIt by CWT Raises $100,000 to Support World Childhood Foundation USA Programs Preventing Child Sexual Abuse and Trafficking

RoomIt hotel bookings made globally help to reach donation milestone

RoomIt hotel bookings made globally help to reach donation milestone

NEW YORK, NY (October 4, 2019) Today, the World Childhood Foundation USA (Childhood USA) announced that a global campaign launched by RoomIt by CWT™ in August to provide support to the World Childhood Foundation and its work to prevent and address sexual abuse, exploitation and violence against children has reached its milestone of $100,000. Through this program, RoomIt pledged $1 for each hotel booking made globally during the month of August, up to $100,000.

The $100,000 donation milestone for World Childhood Foundation USA was achieved through the support of 651 participating clients with 2.7 million campaign messages sent to CWT travelers, as well as social media and other marketing efforts.

According to RoomIt, its support for the World Childhood Foundation reflects CWT’s overall commitment to the fight against human trafficking, which includes increasing awareness and education, closer collaboration with stakeholders, as well as an established anti-human trafficking global taskforce led by CWT executives.

“Carlson has been a long-standing leader in fighting trafficking of children as a business and by supporting World Childhood Foundation globally in our awareness-building campaigns and programs helping to prevent and address sexual violence against children. Carlson’s leadership is pivotal in showing the private sector how to be part of the solution to this horrific universal problem affecting millions of children every year,” said Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Childhood Foundation USA and Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.

“We are very grateful to RoomIt by CWT for creating this important charitable program, as well as to the many travelers whose bookings helped CWT to reach this exciting $100,000 milestone. These important donations will allow Childhood to have greater impact by reaching more children in programs we support. We also applaud CWT’s leaders for making children their business by developing its anti-human trafficking global taskforce, which we hope will pave the way for other Travel and Tourism business leaders to follow suit,” added Dr. Rubinstein.

“The World Childhood Foundation’s mission to create a world where all children are free from violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation speaks volumes to our teams across the globe at RoomIt and CWT,” said Geoff Waldmiller, Vice President of Revenue Optimization at RoomIt by CWT. “It’s not only the largest traveler campaign to date, but the first campaign we’ve run where hotel bookings directly benefit charity. We’re excited to give our clients’ business travelers the opportunity to give back while conducting their business.”  

Global bookings made during the month of August across all booking platforms were eligible for the CWT campaign, which began on August 1, 2019 and ran through August 31, 2019. For more information on CWT Responsible Business, visit: mycwt.com/why-choose-us/responsible-business.

Earlier this year, World Childhood Foundation USA, announced the latest findings of ‘Out of the Shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation.’ 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. For more information, visit: outoftheshadows.eiu.com.

About World Childhood Foundation 

World Childhood Foundation envisions a world where all children are free from violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Founded in 1999 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, World Childhood Foundation commemorates 20 years investing in the development of solutions to prevent and address child sexual abuse and exploitation. World Childhood Foundation, a UN accredited NGO, directly supports >100 projects globally and raises awareness about our cause. World Childhood Foundation’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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#ShineALight Newsletter

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 marks Childhood’s 20th year in the United States as we continue our mission to end violence, sexual abuse and exploitation of children. A UN accredited NGO, we leverage our roles as a funder, advocate and thought leader, to develop solutions like the #EyesWideOpen advocacy initiative, to expand our reach.  

“World Childhood Foundation – USA in Partnership with the West Harlem Development Corporation to Sponsor 6th Annual Community Holiday Celebration & Toy Giveaway Saturday, December 1st”

Friday, November 30, 2018 4:10 PM

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / November 30, 2018 / In celebration of the forthcoming holiday season, World Childhood Foundation-USA (WCF) is partnering with the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) to sponsor the 6th annual holiday celebration & toy giveaway