Sankalp accelerates child safety through collaborative partnerships

Sustainable development goal 16.2 and 2030 zero violence agenda

In realisation of SDGs 2030 Agenda of the right of every child to live free from fear and violence.

Partnerships are a valuable tool to drive change and it will be impossible to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without accelerating and scaling collective action by corporates, government and civil society.  

Sankalp a civil society organisation and Laurus Labs Limited, Hyderabad have partnered for creating safer communities for children, actualising the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs of the right of every child to live free from fear and violence as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[1]

While violence against children cuts across many development goals, by including SDG target 16.2 (“end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children”), for the first time has placed the dignity of children and their right to live free from violence and fear as a priority on the international development agenda. 

Promoting safe, stable, nurturing relationships and preventing child abuse benefits all the sustainable development goals. Achieving the SDGs, especially those related to education, health, gender equality & violence against women, child labour, poverty eradication, access to justice and inclusive institutions will help reduce the risk of violence in children’s lives and opportunities to excel.

Sankalp since 2016, under its flagship program of Project PANTS, has been conducting awareness sessions on child sexual abuse (CSA) for children, teachers and parents and have reached out to more than 10000 stakeholders from government and private schools. With the rise of violence against children during lockdowns, Sankalp has conducted awareness sessions for parents and teachers virtually and supported them to create safe spaces.

With the current collaboration with Laurus Labs Limited, Sankalp will work with children, teachers and parents from the Dr BR Ambedkar higher secondary school and junior college, Hyderabad.  Strategically, intensive awareness sessions will be conducted for children, teachers, staff, parents to enhance the understanding of stakeholders on CSA. As an impact, it is envisioned that this intervention will enable stakeholders to Recognize, React and Respond to CSA.

To further broaden the awareness and outreach, Sankalp will spread CSA knowledge through print, electronic and social media.

While the project strategy for Sankalp and Laurus Labs Limited remains, by and large, Sankalp adopts a holistic model in addressing the issues around CSA.  Key threats to sexual abuse against children are lack of awareness on sexual abuse, fear, myths, lack of skills to express, poor self-esteem, poor parenting, lack of parental & community support, and weak institutional support.  Given this, a multi-stakeholder engagement for improving awareness of CSA and its prevalence, dynamics, impact, knowledge about potential perpetrators, reporting and support systems to stakeholders would be imperative.

At the individual level, Sankalp would build the capacities of children to understand dynamics of violence, build self-esteem & assertiveness to say NO, report and seek support from trusted circles.  Additionally, equips children with age-appropriate sex education, gender equality, respect, consent life skills especially on understanding self, aspiration building and goal setting and further building their self-esteem to make informed choices.

At the family level, Sankalp would empower parents to understand the magnitude of the problem, the importance of positive parenting & nurturing gender-sensitive kids, instilling confidence, creating an enabling environment at home for children to report violence and seek support from their parents. Also, sessions will focus on helping parents to cope with shock and stress while dealing with incidences of violence against their children, reporting, and legal literacy.

At institutional levels, especially in educational institutions, Sankalp empowers school management and teachers on the magnitude of the problem, the need for child protection policy, zero-tolerance, reporting of violence and legislation.  And sessions would highlight the importance of nurturing a gender-sensitive environment, providing unbiased opportunities for children, breaking down gender barriers and stereotyping.

At the societal level, sharing knowledge for rapid social change, advocating for gender equality, and strong implementation of legislation is essential. Mass awareness creation through print & electronic media and intensifying the understanding of CSA and its prominence in creating safer spaces would be another important aspect Sankalp would concentrate on to achieve the desired goals.

Small yet significant initiatives will support in realisation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs of the right of every child to live free from fear and violence.

Register your community or school for sessions on child sexual abuse and life skills education.


[1] https://violenceagainstchildren.un.org/sites/violenceagainstchildren.un.org/files/2020/vnr_doc_final.pdf

 

Author:

Rajeswari

Raja Rajeswari
Associate Vice President – Development

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