Thursday, January 24, 2019
Child Safety Pledge is excited to share the newest installment of our ongoing series, Partners in Pledging, a look at some of the most exciting, innovative and forward-thinking organizations working to end #ChildSexualAbuse!
This month we are extremely proud to present our friends at he World Childhood foundation (WCF), which 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 (CSA) and exploitation.
With offices in the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Germany, WCF projects reach vulnerable children in 25 countries! And as a United Nations accredited NGO, WCF is a critical funder, advocate and a thought leader. By supporting over 100 projects globally, they are able to raise awareness through organizing campaigns and events, convening international high level meetings and by serving on several influential global boards. WCF’s work is aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 which calls for ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children by 2030.
When asked about their flagship work, WCF tells us, “this year, it is definitely the new Index. This week, together with The Economist Intelligence Unit, Carlson Family Foundation and the Oak Foundation we will launch the first-ever benchmarking tool assessing countries’ response to child sexual abuse and exploitation.”
The report, “Out of the Shadows: Shining light on response to child sexual abuse and exploitation” features results of research conducted in 40 countries, home to approximately 70% of the world’s children. It is the first of its kind, and is already behind heralded as pivotal turning point in the child protection space.
It also highlights best practices, identifies gaps and enables the measuring of progress, a point of particular relevance given governments’ commitments to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. What is unique is that this index also looks at the role the private sector, particularly, the Information and Communications Technology and the travel and tourism industry, and media.
You can read the report online at outoftheshadows.eiu.com
This collaborative effort reflects the true strength of the World Child Foundation. With two decades of work across the world, and with a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from supporting child advocacy centers, teenage moms, prevention and educational programs, or developing, with partners, campaigns or a mobile app, WCF knows that impact come from the successes of the projects they support and from working collectively with partners from different sectors.
“We see the index as an important accomplishment,” they told us, “and a result of many years of collaboration with the U.S. and international leaders.”
Learn more about the index by watching this high-level covering at the United Nations about its release, which was attended by Child Safety Pledge founder Rochel Leah Bernstein:
Asked where they see the Child Sexual Abuse movement today, the WCF tells us, “Child Sexual Abuse is a public health epidemic that remains in the shadows. However, we see that the issue is getting more attention than in the past, partly because of the work done by the anti-trafficking community, the tangible increase in child sexual abuse material online and child sexual grooming, but also because of the #MeToo and scandals like the story of Dr. Larry Nassar and the U.S. gymnastics team.”
But the WCF also notes,” we still have a long way to go.”
The organization believes that in order to accelerate the anti-CSA movement’s growth we need to start by raising local and global awareness about this crime. We must start with our communities. We must develop a roadmap, a plan, based on a multi-pronged approach that includes prevention, policy and direct services. And most importantly - we need collective action.
“As a funder for almost 20 years of many different groups working in the U.S. and internationally, we experience first-hand the fragmentation within the field of CSA,” the WCF tells us.
“While recognizing the plethora of amazing projects in the U.S., we worry that lack of collective action and competition for funding will not help to achieve our common goal, to end CSA. Therefore, we hope that by working together with Child Safety Pledge will lead to more synergies, will help to unify and amplify our voices for increased awareness and action.”
They went on to comment, “we admire the courage of Rochel Leah to share her story as a survivor but even more her fearless pursuit of bringing us all together.
"Rochel Leah Bernstein exemplifies innovative leadership which can help to break the cycle of doing business as usual. We need common advocacy efforts that can bring transformational change. We find Rochel Leah’s bold initiative to build a national advocacy effort, and her willingness and steadfastness to foster collaboration among a diverse group of leaders in CSA inspiring, and with great potential to succeed.”
And we here at the Child Safety Pledge couldn’t agree more.