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Zero Child Sexual Exploitation, A Call to Prioritize Human Rights and Global Health

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

The sexual abuse and exploitation of children represent a severe violation of human rights and a significant public health issue with far-reaching consequences for global health and development. Acknowledging the need to eliminate and prevent all forms of child sexual exploitation, abuse, and violence, and to promote the dignity and rights of survivors, the United Nations estimates that approximately 120 million females under the age of 20 have experienced forced sexual contact. While data on sexual violence against boys is not globally available, statistics from 24 predominantly high- and middle-income countries reveal prevalence rates ranging from 8% to 31% among girls and 3% to 17% among boys under 18. Additionally, 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence. Adults who endured multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, are significantly more likely to be involved in interpersonal violence and attempt suicide.

On this World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Violence, organizations around the globe join forces to address this pervasive issue. Dufatanye Organization, a beacon of hope for children, stands firm in its commitment to creating a safe and nurturing environment for young minds. Recognizing that the dignity of children and their right to live free from violence should be a priority, we have taken concrete steps to empower and protect the children under its care.

We beyond conventional approaches by not only providing education support, such as fighting malnutrition in all its form, providing school fees and scholastic materials but also by teaching children vital topics like bible stories, improved agricultural practices, Sexual Reproductive Health and Right, livestock, Youth Empowering Youth and Leadership skills. This multifaceted approach aims to equip children not only with academic knowledge but also with practical skills that will serve them well in the future.

In a symbolic gesture on this special day, Dufatanye Organization organized a football game, pitting the children against the organization's staff. This event served as a powerful reminder that children, regardless of their past experiences, have the right to joy, play, and a childhood free from exploitation and abuse. The game was a celebration of resilience empowerment, and the collective effort to break the cycle of violence.

The fight against child sexual exploitation demands a comprehensive and coordinated effort from governments, organizations, and individuals worldwide. Dufatanye Organization and its partner’s commitment to the cause, exemplified by their innovative initiatives and events like the football game, demonstrates that change is possible when organizations prioritize the dignity and rights of children. As we mark this World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, let us reflect on the progress made and recommit ourselves to building a world where every child can grow up free from the shadows of abuse and exploitation.

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