INSPIRE: Seven Strategies for Ending Violence against Children

Alexander Butchart, Susan Hillis & Angela Burton (Ed.) - World Health Organization & United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

INSPIRE: An overview

INSPIRE is an evidence-based resource for everyone committed to preventing and responding to violence against children and adolescents – from government to grassroots, and from civil society to the private sector. It represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help countries and communities intensify their focus on the prevention programmes and services with the greatest potential to reduce violence against children. The seven strategies are: Implementation and enforcement of laws; Norms and values; Safe environments; Parent and caregiver support; Income and economic strengthening; Response and support services; and Education and life skills. Additionally, INSPIRE includes two cross-cutting activities that together help connect and strengthen – and assess progress towards – the seven strategies.

The seven INSPIRE strategies are most effective when implemented as part of a comprehensive, multisectoral plan that harnesses their synergies, as the strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other. Though stakeholders in many countries are working to eliminate violence against children, their efforts are not always well coordinated and supported, and few are undertaken at a large scale. Coordination mechanisms are therefore essential, as no single sector can deliver the full package of interventions, and no individual government can tackle the growing threats to its children that now transcend national borders. Efforts to implement the package should therefore encourage cooperation and learning both within and between countries. 

INSPIRE: The vision

INSPIRE’s vision is a world where all governments, with the strong participation of civil society and communities, routinely implement and monitor interventions to prevent and respond to violence against all children and adolescents, and help them reach their full potential.

It reinforces the protections guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which obliges States Parties to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, and educational measures to protect children from all forms of violence while in the care of parents, legal guardians, or any other person who has the care of the child. It reflects the urgent need to address the huge public health and social burden created by violence against children.

INSPIRE aims to help countries and communities achieve key priorities of the 2030 Sustainable The World Health Organization (WHO) initiated preparation of the INSPIRE package, in collaboration with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), End Violence Against Children: The Global Partnership, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Together for Girls, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank (agencies with a long history of galvanizing a consistent, evidence-based approach to preventing violence against children). Development Goals (SDGs), a new set of goals that UN Member States will use to guide their priorities from 2016-2030. SDG targets addressing violence against children include Target 16.2, “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children”; SDG Target 5.2, “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”, and SDG Target 16.1, “significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere”.

In addition, the seven INSPIRE strategies are supported by and contribute to activities aimed at achieving several other SDG goals that target risk factors for violence against children, including those that address poverty, health, gender equality, education, safe environments and justice, and are therefore important to include in programming to prevent violence against all children. 

Read the INSPIRE Handbook here

Read the INSPIRE Indicator Guidance and Results Framework here