Worldwide Economic Costs of Violence Against Children | The Center for Victims of Torture

Worldwide Economic Costs of Violence Against Children

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We recently came across a study released last fall on the staggering economic costs of violence against children around the world.

Commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance and compiled by the Overseas Development Institute, the study estimates that the “global economic impacts and costs resulting from the consequences of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children can be as high as $7 trillion.”

The study also estimates that the annual costs of children being recruited by armed forces and militias at $144 million, factoring in the loss of children’s productive capacity over their lifetimes due to major injuries, disabilities, psychological trauma or death, as well as the costs of reintegrating children into the school system.

The complete study is available here.

We previously wrote about the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. According to this report from the UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world in 2013.

Based on our experience, we know the impact of torture and war on children can lead to unique psychological and emotional pain that can have long-term impacts on their development and well-being.

To address these children’s psychological distress, it is imperative for the international community, including the United States, to increase investments in programs to assist them through counseling and psychosocial support.

Mental health care itself can be lifesaving. We have seen, even in the aftermath of widespread violence, individuals, families, and communities do heal and do rebuild their lives. We need to do more to press global policymakers to expand support for mental health and psychosocial support programming and to ensure both are major elements in international development and foreign policy agendas.

Our work healing child and youth survivors was the focus of our latest Storycloth newsletter. You can read about it here.

 

 

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