19 November 2018 – In the WHO European Region, it is estimated that 55 million children are subject to some form of violence each year. The consequences are devastating to the physical and mental health of affected individuals, and result in substantial and avoidable health-care costs throughout the life-course.
On World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, WHO/Europe highlights examples of good practice from around the Region related to the prevention of child maltreatment. First published in the “European status report on preventing child maltreatment”, released in September 2018, these examples delve further into successes from Estonia, Germany, Lithuania and Norway.
Making legal changes, supporting referrals by health providers, teaching positive parenting and empowering children are just some of the interventions that can contribute to the prevention of violence against children.
The report highlights that more work still needs to be done – especially in terms of population-based, multidisciplinary and evidence-informed strategies. “Investing in children: the European child maltreatment prevention action plan 2015–2020” has set the goal to reduce child homicides and maltreatment by 20% by 2020.
The stories below celebrate the progress that has been achieved and aim to inspire further success in the creation of a safer world for children.