United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov Wednesday called to make justice systems stronger to make the world safe for children and eradicate all forms of violence against them.
"If children are not safe in schools, in family homes or in the criminal justice system, there is less chance they will be able live a happy, prosperous lives," Fedotov said on the sidelines of the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice currently going on at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Violence against children takes cruel advantage of young people’s vulnerabilities and represents a high barrier to the achievement of sustainable development, he said.
Citing UNODC data, he said, 36,000 children under age 15 were homicide victims globally in 2012.Violence deeply traumatizes and psychologically damages children.
This is why UNODC is proud to work with the United Nations Children's Fund to empower children to demand assistance and to strengthen justice systems so they can respond to these cries for help, the UNODC chief said.
The Doha Declaration adopted at this Congress specifically recognizes the importance of protecting children from all forms of violence, exploitation, and abuse, he said.
It can help further the work undertaken by the UNODC-UNICEF Global Programme on Violence against Children and he called for robust action to eradicate violence against them.