UN strikes to deal with ‘hidden abuse’ and violence towards Europe’s kids – UN Information
And despite the magnitude of this number, according to world health it is "certain that incidents of interpersonal violence are largely under-reported" Office of the Organization for the European Region.
The WHO estimates that of the 204 million children under the age of 18 in the region, 9.6 percent experience sexual exploitation, 22.9 percent experience physical abuse, and 29.1 percent suffer emotional damage. In addition, 700 people are murdered every year.
High costs of violence
"The cost of violence against children is cumulative," said the WHO, stressing that an estimated $ 581 billion is spent annually on the treatment of victims.
"But the financial costs are fading in comparison to the consequences for the health of the individual," said the agency.
Violence against children is frightening and tormenting – WHO spokesman
Studies show that children who experience violence are at higher risk for mental illness, drug use, alcohol consumption and obesity, but also for chronic illnesses later in life.
"Violence against children is frightening and stressful," said Bente Mikkelson, director of the WHO's Non-Communicable Diseases and Health Promotion Department in Europe.
"Child trauma causes terrible costs not only for children and adults whose lives are ruining them, but also for the well-being and economy of every country."
Laws for protection on the upwind
Governments show an increased appetite for combating the scourge. Overall, the political will to combat violence against children has increased, with 66 percent of regional countries banning physical punishment in all settings.
However, passing laws is only part of the solution.
While 83 percent of countries in the region have developed a national action plan to combat child abuse, less than half is adequately funded.