Sample letter for Ministers of Health or Social Services


Violence against children is perpetrated against children all over the world, with devastating results. Every day, children are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and even murdered, often by the very individuals responsible for their care and safety. In many schools, children are subject to corporal punishment or sexual violence by their teachers or classmates. Children, especially street children, are often beaten by police to extort money or tortured to coerce confessions. Children in detention facilities are frequently mistreated by guards or other inmates. Many child workers are beaten by their employers for working too slowly or making mistakes. Other children, dependent on the state for care, are abused in orphanages or state institutions.

I urge you and your ministry to help to end violence against children by creating and strengthening programs to ensure that professionals who deal with children, including medical personnel, social workers, child care workers and others are trained to recognize violence against children and provide appropriate treatment and support. In particular, your Ministry should ensure that health and other service providers are familiar with and equipped to respond to rape and domestic violence, forms of violence that are suffered disproportionately by girls. Treatment for survivors of these forms of violence should include basic medical care, including treatment of HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases where appropriate, and aftercare counseling.

Your Ministry should also ensure that professionals working with children are educated about their obligation to report child abuse to relevant authorities. Your Ministry should cooperate with law enforcement and other relevant ministries to create or strengthen confidential complaint procedures for children who have been victims of violence, as well as their families, and to provide support to children and their families during the investigation of such complaints.

All children have the right to be treated with respect and to be protected from violence and abuse. Thank you for your attention to this issue.

Sincerely yours,