During this critical year for child rights and the SDGs, the Alliance on July 10 hosted a side event to the HLPF at the Scandinavia House in New York. The program brought together children, Member States, UN agencies, and civil society organizations to examine progress and future steps toward ending violence against children. Guest speakers included newly appointed SRSG Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid; Dr. Howard Taylor, Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; leaders from ChildFund member organizations; and ChildFund youth delegates from El Salvador, South Korea, Paraguay, and Uganda.
In addition to introducing the report, Meg premiered the Alliance’s new Children’s Voices video that highlights children and youth and the actions they are taking to help end violence against children in their own communities. Children from El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, South Korea and Uganda all lent their voices to the video and children from four of the five countries travelled from their home countries to New York to share their stories in person during the HLPF.
The morning’s program also featured a videotaped message from the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake. She addressed the need to safeguard and promote all young people’s rights and to nurture them so they can reach their full potential and live a life in dignity.
A key moment in the event then followed as the four ChildFund youth delegates from El Salvador, Paraguay, South Korea, and Uganda took the stage for a moderated discussion with Timothy Opobo, the Child Protection and Advocacy Manager of ChildFund International Uganda. The four youth—ages 12 to 17—shared personal stories about the devastating impact of violence on children.
After hearing from ChildFund’s youth delegates, Dr. Howard Taylor, Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children spoke on a second panel with several program staff from ChildFund member organizations. They included Uganda’s Timothy Obopo, Paraguay’s Diego Martinez, and ChildFund Australia’s Philippa Nicholson. Secretary General Meg Gardiner moderated the conversation.