This module is a resource for lecturers  




Violence against children is a widespread phenomenon that affects millions of children all over the world. It takes many forms and is influenced by a wide range of factors. In 2006, the United Nations World Report on Violence against Children revealed the high incidence of various types of violence against children within the family, schools, alternative care institutions and detention facilities, places where children work and communities (United Nations, 2006). It suggested that justice institutions could play a more effective role in preventing and responding to such violence. Since then, other studies have shown how slow progress has been in eliminating violence against children (UNICEF, 2014; International NGO Advisory Council in Violence against Children, 2013).

This Module considers various forms of violence against children and their impact on children, their development, and their rights. It discusses the obligation of States to protect children from violence whether it occurs at home, in the school, in the community or even in the criminal justice system itself. The main focus of the Module, however, is on the role of the justice system in preventing violence against children in its various forms. It introduces the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence Against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal justice (Economic and Social Council Resolution 2014/18) (hereinafter referred to as United Nations Model Strategies). In teaching this Module, lecturers can invite students to reflect critically on the effectiveness of the current justice response to violence against children in their own country and to develop the applied skills to consider how those responses could be improved.


Learning outcomes

  • Recognize various forms of violence against children occurring in different contexts and appreciate the impact violence has on children, their welfare and development, and their rights;
  • Explain the legal obligations of States to protect children against all forms of violence and, to that end, the role of law enforcement and criminal justice institutions;
  • Describe various measures that can be taken in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice to prevent and respond to violence against children; and
  • Develop applied skills to consider ways of improving current measures to prevent violence against children.
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