Violating children’s rights: Harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition. Report from the International NGO Council on Violence against Children

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International NGO Council on Violence Against Children

The International NGO Council on Violence against Children presents a report on harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition that violate the rights of children. Across regions, millions of children are subjected to various forms of harmful practices. These practices, which are perpetrated and condoned by parents or significant adults within the child’s extended family and community, cause the death of thousands of children annually, negatively impacting the childhoods and development of millions more worldwide. This report is an initial attempt to list these traditional practices affecting children across the world. It highlights the measures that have already been taken to combat these practices, and makes recommendations to regional and international bodies to ensure their prohibition and full elimination.
The report first looks at the definition and scope of harmful traditional, cultural and religious practices violating children’s rights. Section 3 outlines the human rights context for their prohibition and elimination. Section 4 lists practices identified through a call for evidence issued by the International NGO Council earlier in 2012 and additional desk research. It also provides some examples of legal and other measures already taken to challenge and eliminate them. Section 5 provides recommendations for action by states, UN and UN-related agencies, INGOs, NGOs, national human rights institutions and others.

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