As the first World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence passes, global donors are spending just 0.15% of funding to end sexual violence against children.
This is according to Girls in Crisis: Decreasing International Investment to End Sexual Violence and Child Marriage; a new report by World Vision that investigates donor spending on child marriage and violence against children. The report has found that despite warnings as far back as May 2020 that the pandemic would cause a surge in child marriages, donors reduced spending to end violence against children in the first year of the pandemic, shifting funds instead to COVID-19 responses. In 2020, just 0.07% of official development assistance went to fighting child marriage, but a new analysis of World Vision’s own field-level data shows a 163% increase in child marriages in the first 18 months of the pandemic.
Andrew Morley, World Vision International President & CEO, said: “We must protect children everywhere – so they can just be children. This means working together NOW to stop child marriage and other forms of sexual violence against children. It is a travesty that, despite repeated warnings from World Vision and other organizations, funding to tackle child marriage and sexual violence against children makes up a tiny percentage of donor investment. Girls are paying for this with their futures.”
23 girls are married every minute👰, but funding to #endchildmarriage makes up just 0.07%🚨 of official development assistance.
— World Vision (@WorldVision) November 22, 2022
The new report highlights the increases in child marriage and sexual violence against children during the pandemic, and analyses where and by whom the funding that does exist is spent. It calls on donors and international financial institutions to increase their funding in this area so that the world can enjoy the large social and economic dividends that ending violence against children creates.
Mr. Morley concluded, “Sexual violence against children is a global atrocity, robbing girls and boys of their God-given potential. We need real investment from world leaders to protect children everywhere. With the right resources, mobilization, and political will, we can work together to protect children from sexual violence – empowering them to reach their true potential in life.”