National Consultation on Social Justice for Children: To End Child Abuse and Violence Against Children

National Consultation Social Justice for Children To End Child Abuse / Violence

On November 4, 2011, the SRSG participated in a national consultation organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York as the founding institution of the interdisciplinary field of Children’s Studies and its Children’s Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service. The event aimed at drawing attention to the prevalence of all forms of violence against children and their maltreatment in the United States. This national consultation discussed critical dimensions concerning the widespread use of violence against children, and ways of effectively preventing its incidence, including in the home, in schools, in child protection systems, in juvenile/criminal justice systems, in health and mental institutions and in other social settings.

The deleterious effects of such violence often endure throughout an individual's life and even across generations. It was hoped that the event would stimulate dialogue and collaboration between the numerous public sectors and advocacy organizations involved in child protection and explore ways to prevent and eliminate violence against and maltreatment of children in the United States. In particular the  findings from epigenetic and social science research need to be made more fully available to the wider professional communities, the public, the judiciary, policy makers and caretakers of children. 

Key representatives from the social and behavioral sciences, the neurosciences, the judiciary, legislature, public and non-profit child protective services as well as stakeholders in civil society explored these issues and ways to collaboratively work across institutional boundaries towards preventing and eliminating child maltreatment.

This project also served to focus on Defending Childhood, the initiative announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as well as on the work on child maltreatment of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.  It was further intended to bring the initiatives of the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, Esq., and the efforts of her mandate to reduce and eliminate physical, emotional and sexual maltreatment of children worldwide, to wider public attention.

The program was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and with support from The New York Community Trust – The Mark Family Fund, and the Oak Foundation.

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