Children, especially young ones, are vulnerable to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse, a new study from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says.
The report found that the world’s governments, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico, face “a high risk of child maltreatment.”
The U.N. agency says the prevalence of child neglect and abuse has increased over the past two decades, and “that the number of children at risk of physical and/or sexual abuse is on the rise in most countries.”
The report said “many of the countries that have seen the greatest increases in the prevalence and severity of child mistreatment have also seen the highest number of cases of child sexual abuse and abuse of children.”
Child maltreatment has also been linked to violence, which “increases the likelihood that children will be subjected to violence and maltreatment by adults,” the report said.
The United States ranked third in the world for the number and severity that countries reported experiencing child abuse, while Mexico came in fourth.
The United Kingdom came in fifth.
The U.K. is one of four countries that were surveyed by the United Nation’s Children and Armed Conflict Monitor.
says it’s the responsibility of governments to ensure children are protected from physical and sexual violence.
But the report also said child abuse “is not only pervasive and pervasive but is also the cause of more than one in five child deaths.”
“The lack of effective prevention, early detection and intervention strategies is a major public health challenge in many countries and regions,” the U.S. report said, citing the “urgent need to ensure that perpetrators and survivors are held accountable and the rights of children are fully respected.”
According to the report, “there are no international or regional standards that define child protection responsibilities.”
The United Nations is developing a global code of conduct for protecting children, which includes a mechanism for countries to report cases of abuse and child neglect to international agencies.
The agency said it’s working with the governments of the U to identify a way to better share information, including data on the nature of abuse, the duration of the abuse, how it was inflicted and the response, among other things.