[Dateline: New York | Author: UNOPS]
On Wednesday October 21st, 2009, the World Childhood Foundation USA, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), held a symposium to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Childhood Foundation.
The symposium titled “2009 Childhood Anniversary Symposium: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children – 10 years in the field”, was held at the United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC Chamber.
The event was held and patronage by her Majesty Queen Silvia, Founder of World Childhood Foundation and a champion for the protection of vulnerable children. In her opening statement, Her Majesty gave an overview of Childhood Foundation and its future direction, followed by presentations on Childhood’s model of supporting projects working with children who are at risk for sexual abuse and exploitation.
Mr. Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, emphasized that only through working with various stakeholders in the public and private sectors, can children of the world be better protected. He further stated that the discussions “…Would provide a valuable platform for making a difference in the lives of children worldwide.”
The symposuim focused on sexual abuse and exploitation of children, a field that has received increased attention in the last decade. The Childhood Anniversary Symposium built on the theme of the Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which forms the basis for Childhood’s work.
Panel discussants with Childhood project and corporate partners, along with other representatives working with children at risk, focused on prevention and intervention approaches and how to spread public awareness about child sexual abuse and exploitation. Speakers at the event included: Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson Co., Jenny Bowen, Founder of Half the Sky in China, Natasha Jackson, GSMA Mobile Alliance, and Mats Agurén, Secretary General of World Childhood Foundation.
World Childhood Foundation was started in 1999 with the aim of helping some of the most vulnerable children in the world; street children, children in institutions, sexually abused children and young mothers, with a special focus on girls. Since the beginning, Childhood has given out almost 40 million US dollars in support to more than 500 projects in 16 countries.