The U.N. General Assembly on Monday approved a resolution dedicating November 18th as a day to underscore sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
The resolution proclaims set aside this date as the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.
The day aims to stress the need for prevention, for perpetrators to be brought to justice, and for victims to be given a voice as part of the long process of healing.
The resolution, which was sponsored by Sierra Leone and Nigeria and co-sponsored by more than 110 countries.
As reported by AP News the resolution was introduced by Sierra Leone’s first lady, Fatima Maada who called child sexual abuse a heinous crime that especially affects girls who are at greater risk of experiencing forced sex and exploitation.
Further she said prevention of this heinous crime is an emergency but doable.
The Assembly calls on the 193 U.N. member nations, international organizations, world leaders, civil society, non-governmental groups, faith leaders, academic institutions and private businesses to commemorate the day “in a manner that each considers most appropriate.”
As a preventive measure the assembly suggested educating the public about the impact of sexual abuse on children, the need to prevent exploitation online and offline, and holding perpetrators accountable.
Further it recommended that survivors should have access to justice and to open discussion on the need to prevent and eliminate their stigmatization, promote their healing, affirm their dignity and protect their rights.