A world ‘free from violence and exploitation’

World leaders are adopting new global goals for sustainable development and agreed on a vision of a world which “invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation.”*

This is welcome news for children everywhere and for our international advocacy campaign, created to ensure that the protection of children from violence and exploitation would become a global priority in the new #GlobalGoals.

Over 680,000 people signed our campaign petition in support of a world where children are #FreeFromViolence and exploitation. We also consulted with over 16,000 children across 50 countries capturing their aspirations and thoughts about these new goals and you can see our video and what they said here.

In celebration of this major breakthrough, we have gathered over one thousand handprints from children and adults in a living collage. The handprints take the form of a green butterfly, the symbol of the campaign. We are also collecting hands from around the world – and you can add yours too!

Join via Instagram by posting pictures of your hands in the pose of a butterfly and tagging them #FreeFromViolence. These pictures will go directly to our living collage.

Our campaign doesn’t end here. We will be monitoring progress on the #GlobalGoals and ensuring that ending violence against and exploitation of children remains a priority for everyone.

Read more here.

Why does this matter?

Fifteen years ago, world leaders agreed upon a series of actions to tackle extreme poverty and make the world a better place. These actions were later translated into a set of 8 goals – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which achieved a great deal but didn’t prioritize children being free from violence and exploitation.

World leaders have agreed it is time to put this right. And here’s why:

  • Almost half of all children experience some form of physical violence before they reach the age of 8
  • An estimated 168 million children are involved in child labour of which 85 million are in hazardous work
  • 150 million girls and 73 million boys worldwide are raped or subject to sexual violence in a single year

When the MDGs end on December 31, 2015, they will be replaced with a new set of priorities, known as the Sustainable Development Goals.

They have pledged to:

  • end abuse, exploitation, torture, trafficking, and violence against children;
  • end child labour, especially in its worst forms;
  • end child marriage, female genital mutilation, and other practices that are harmful to children;
  • and create safe and non-violent learning environments.


* Declaration from “Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”