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An Open Letter to G7

24.02.22 | Blog

Jonathan Black
Cabinet Office
UK G7 Sherpa

Dear Mr Black,

I am writing as a matter of urgency to ask for your support as the UK Sherpa, or personal representative of the Prime Minister, for the forthcoming G7.

One in two children globally experience violence every year which according to ‘End Violence Against Children’ equates to one billion children across the globe. As a leader in the field of sexual violence, and a survivor of child sexual abuse myself, I need to ensure that I am doing everything I can to keep the issue on the agenda and ensure I support colleagues and leaders to tackle child abuse.

With G7 leaders meeting tomorrow in for a Virtual Summit, commencing preparations for the main G7 in Germany in June, I write to ask you to help.

Last week, the G7 Survivors Mobilisation Task Force, of which I am proud to support approved a call to action to end Childhood Sexual Violence, with dozens of organisations and allies joining the campaign. The call to action can be found by clicking here.

I am asking that the UK makes the case for prioritizing ending childhood sexual violence:

  • G7 leaders should include the issue on their agenda when they meet in June and make concrete and timebound commitments in the leaders communiqué.
  • G7 Interior and Security Ministers should meet in 2022 to drive forward their ‘Action Plan to Combat Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse’. This work should be informed by the G7 working group that was announced in 2021.

I am asking that leaders please deliver on existing G7 commitments

  • New Commitments of $1 billion to the End Violence Fund housed at the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children to scale prevention, healing, and justice programmes in low and middle income countries.
  • Commit to legislate on child-rights driven end-to-end encryption and end its use in facilitating childhood sexual violence.
  • Publish the agreed G7 plan for coordinated engagement with industry ahead of the June G7 summit.

I am asking that the UK, as a model of good practice, challenges the G7 to engage with survivors

  • The G7 should establish a G7 Survivors Council as an advisory board which should help inform G7 policies and make sure that survivors’ knowledge is included in policy and practice.

And I am asking that the G7 assure that every G7 country develop and implement National Action Plans/Strategies that should be embedded in existing National Action Plans to End Violence Against Children, and build on the WePROTECT Model National Response, and should include:

  • A coherent Government approach that is fully funded, and focused on large scale prevention, healing, and justice laws and programs
  • Training of all relevant state employees on how to interact with and support child and adult survivors of childhood sexual violence
  • Adequate support services for all survivors and national campaigns to de-stigmatise the use of such services
  • The abolition of Statutes of Limitation (SOLs) in cases of childhood sexual violence where that is not already the case
  • Community-based child-friendly approaches for responding to childhood sexual violence and witnesses of childhood sexual violence
  • Research into, and support programs to overcome, the psychological motivation of perpetrators of childhood sexual violence

The UK is currently on a difficult journey of our own with regards to tackling violence against women and girls, and addressing the abhorrent way that victims of rape have been treated. I am honoured to be part of this work and will continue to everything I can to play my part, no matter how big or small.

I hope that you receive this with the intention that it is sent… a male survivor stepping up to do everything in his capability to end sexual violence against children and in some way, fix the failures of the past in respect of the abused boy he was.

With kindest regards

 

Duncan

Duncan Craig OBE (He/Him)
Chief Executive Officer
& Psychotherapist

Honorary Fellow in Dept of Criminology
University of Manchester

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