Liberal International

Resolution number: 03

Title: Child Abuse

Submitted by: INLW (International Network of Liberal Women)

The Congress of Liberal International, convened in Andorra, on 20 May 2017

Noting that:

World Health Organization (WHO), distinguishes four types of child maltreatment: physical abuse; sexual abuse; neglect and negligent treatment; emotional abuse; and exploitation

Child abuse can result in immediate adverse physical effects but it is also strongly associated with developmental problems and with many chronic physical and psychological effects, including

subsequent ill-health, including higher rates of chronic conditions, high-risk health behaviours and shortened lifespan.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), of which Article 19 calls on all political parties to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

Child maltreatment is a global problem with serious life-long consequences

Despite recent national surveys in several low- and middle-income countries, data from many countries are still lacking

Considering it:

Worldwide because Child abuse occurs irrespective of gender, social standing, ethnicity, or religion. International child abuse statistics are difficult to come by due to the difficulty in keeping track of numbers and the hidden nature of some forms of abuse even in “financially sound” countries. Even though many countries keep no or inadequate records, politics are not doing enough. This is why we must raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and rid society of abuse permanently.

Worldwide… because violence against children takes many forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and may involve neglect or deprivation. Violence occurs in many settings, including the home, school, community and over the Internet.

Worldwide…because thousands or refugee children are being abused exploited and arbitrarily detained.

Worldwide…because in many countries children are used as target for emotional abuse and of neglect. Is known that child abuse happens constantly in war zones, in schools and in child marketing.

Worldwide…because child abuse happens in advertising, the food and beverage industry is marketing our children and youth to sickness or even death

The nature of international communication means that abuse occurs across international borders.

Calls on upon member parties and other liberal organizations to urge their governments around the world to bring this issue to attention: Raise the alert and protect our future generations from ritual and sexual abuse.

Pay special attention to and raise the awareness of child abuse in war zones.

Draw attention to child abuse in schools.

Let political parties intervene and put an end to inappropriate marketing to children

Draw attention to children used as targets such as in Europe, Syria, Iraq, Africa and other countries.

Non-profit agencies should work together in seeking funding that supports preventive effort.

Partner with national experts who can collect data to build the evidence base. Make use of data to demonstrate the need for increased funding for prevention programs.

Political parties to focus on the issue “child abuse” and keep it on the political agenda. WHO’s and International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Campaign on preventing child maltreatment.


Ensaf Haldar, the wife of jailed Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi and President of the Raif Badawi Foundation, has been presented with the 2016 Liberal International Prize for Freedom on behalf of her husband at a special ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels. Our President, Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, and vice president, Khadija El Morabit, were both present on this occasion.

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INLW was represented at the Meeting by Joaquima Alemany (Past President), Khadija El Morabit (Vice President for MENA region), Lysbeth van Valkenburg (Treasurer) and Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk (President).

On Thursday afternoon, we kicked off with the discussion on the importance of working together between political parties, NGO’s and Networks in different regions. Within Liberal International we distinguish different regional liberal networks like CALD (Asian liberal Parties) ALDE (European Liberal parties) Relial (Latin American), ALN (African Liberal Network), ALF (Arabic Liberals) and Libseen (East European).

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UN HR 1
President of the International Network of Liberal Women (INLW), Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk, has delivered a joint LI-INLW statement to the 27th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 15th 2014. She stated that the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Eliminating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence should be adopted in a Global Framework. Her text which was shortened when spoken is to be found under the link to the actual video of her oral statement.

The original non shortened message of the campaign which INLW and LI want the international community to hear is:

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INLW LI join forces 2INLW LI join forces 1
INLW had submitted a
resolution to the 59th LI congress in Rotterdam on the Istanbul Convention calling liberal parties party to the Council of Europe to press on their governments to sign, ratify and implement this very important Convention on preventing and combating violence against women.

Liberal parties from outside the Council of EU should urge their governments to introduce into their own legislation the content of the provisions of the Istanbul Convention.

Furthermore LI now calls upon all governments to work towards a worldwide UN Convention on preventing and combating violence against women taking the CEDAW as a possible model. By signing, ratifying and finally implementing this still utopian Convention, preventing and combating violence against women will form an integral part of every government policy world wide. And that is our aim!

The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Liberal International Congress on May 26th.

It is the intention of INLW together with ALDE GEN to launch a campaign on this subject. Cooperation of all involved is called for!

INLW ALDE GEN partners 1
Ingrid de Caluwé and Marianne Kallen are pleased to see Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk President of INLW and Flo Clucas, President of ALDE GEN shake hands with each other on the occassion of the launching of the partnership between INLW and ALDE GEN. Behind them are stated goals for the partnership.

In the last part of the Fringe Meeting  INLW and ALDE GEN officially announced their decision to become partners. In working close together both organizations will be able to strengthen each other.

  • Both ALDE Party GEN and INLW will work together to ensure that women and men are able to reach their full potential.
  • We will work together to highlight and combat all forms of violence against girls and women.
  • We will work together to bring forward appropriate campaign and policy proposals to encourage women and girls get involved in politics and in the decision making process at all levels.