November 25, 2020:

On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and young girls,

our thoughts are with all victims and survivors of violence and abuse.

Violence against women and girls comes in many forms, and this violence knows no cultural,

social or economic barriers. It concerns us all!

It encompasses backward customs, social norms, misogynistic and discriminatory practices,

which range from conjugal and domestic violence to harassment in students, in the workplace

or on public transport, including the forced marriage of children and human trafficking, socalled

“honor killings” and rape.

This violence devastates the lives of millions of women in conflict and post-conflict societies,

but also in peacetime, and has serious consequences for physical and mental health of


Violence against women and children is not only one of the most serious violations of human

rights, but also a veritable public health pandemic and a serious obstacle to the resolution of

many global challenges such as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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