WINDHOEK, 03 DEC – The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare opened a three-day workshop on ending violence against children here on Monday.
A speech read on behalf of World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Charles Sagoe-Moses highlighted that for the first time ever, violence prevention targets are included in the Sustainable Development Agenda.
WHO has been promoting an evidence-based and science-driven approach to violence prevention, said the country representative.
This initiative can demonstrate how frequently violence occurs, where and who the victims and perpetrators are, and will help to identify the risk factors for violence and develop interventions that address risk factors and prevent violence from happening.
Sagoe-Moses noted that there are identified targets that directly address violence against women, children and homicides.
“This is an important step of the international community in recognising and acknowledging that high levels of violence are a major obstacle to international development,” he said.
He explained that violence against children is a global health burden as it is the third leading cause of deaths for children and adolescents globally.
This kind of exposure can increase the risk of smoking, alcohol, drug abuse and mental health problems amongst others, he cautioned.
“It is strongly associated with negative education outcomes and less chances that a young individual can achieve their full potential,” Sagoe-Moses further explained.
The evidence for what works to prevent violence has developed rapidly over the past decade, he stated, adding that there is much better knowledge of what works and what does not work to prevent violence.
Sagoe-Moses commended Namibia for its interest in becoming a pathfinder country in implementing strategies and commitment in addressing violence against children. – NAMPA