UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution Monday establishing November 18th as a day to spotlight the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
The day also will be used to stre,ss 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, was adopted by consensus and a bang of the gavel by the assembly’s acting president, which was greeted with loud applause.
Sierra Leone’s first lady, Fatima Maada Bio, who introduced the resolution, called child sexual abuse a “heinous crime” that especially affects girls who are at greater risk of experiencing forced sex and exploitation.
She said prevention is “an emergency — but doable.”
The resolution proclaims Nov. 18 every year as the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.
It 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.”
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.