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February 12, 2015

Asia-Pacific Conference on Gendered Violence and Violations

This week saw the inaugural Asia-Pacific Conference on Gendered Violence and Violations in Sydney. The conference brought together delegates from the across the region, and had a blend of research, theory, and practice. Across three days, delegates spoke on issues of violence against women, domestic violence, family violence, the increased risks for children in families going through separation or mediation, and violence within Indigenous communities.

 

The conference heard from a number of incredible speakers, including: Anne Edwards, AO, Chair of ANROWS; Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences; and Natasha Stott Despoya, AM, Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, and Chai, Our Watch. All spoke of the horrific violence and oppression women and children experience at the hands of men, and the need to do more to end it.

 

Child Wise’s Head of Research & Advocacy, Scott Jacobs, presented his paper on day two of the conference. Titled ‘A problem of culture? Child sexual exploitation and the marginalisation of children’, he discussed the role that the sexualisation of children through all forms of media and advertising may play in responding to or enabling the commercial sexual exploitation of children, especially in the out-of-home care system.

 

Currently, there is limited public awareness of the extent of commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly known as ‘child prostitution’) in Australia. In March last year, there were over 40 children in out-of-home care within the Dandenong region alone who were being groomed and exploited for sex by gangs of men. Yet it is occurring all around Australia – not just in the child protection system, but among homeless youth, drug addicted children, and other children in vulnerable situations, such as commission housing. That this issue receives so little attention is an indication of how easily the plight of children is ignored. More needs to be done.

 

The last three days allowed the exchange of ideas, strategies and responses that will support all of us to more effectively address gendered violence and violations. It was an honour for Child Wise to be able to contribute to the conference.

 
Category: General
Tags: child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, family violence, Gendered Violence, violence against women,
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