Thank you for contacting me recently regarding ending violence against children, the Sustainable Development Goals and the related campaign by UNICEF UK.
I share your concern about this issue, and I agree that ending violence against children is essential. I have made urgent representations to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development and Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development to raise this important issue. I have attached the reply from the Department of International Development for your reference.
I am proud that the UK has been a leading figure over the last decade in supporting international development. As I am sure you are aware, the previous Labour Government was at the forefront of the creation of the Millennium Development Goals, which expire this year and have helped make a real difference around the world. The challenge for this government is to commit to helping end violence against children globally.
2015, however, provides a unique opportunity to develop these Goals further and for the world to think bigger and do better. That is why I believe the Sustainable Development Goals, for which final negotiations take place in September, should be priority for the next UK Government.
I welcome the work of the UN General Assembly's Open Working Group which has proposed 17 suggestions for the future Sustainable Development Goals. Among these is a target to 'end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children', which I know is strongly supported by organisations including UNICEF.
I hope that in the coming months the UK Government will play a leading role in these negotiations and remain committed to help end violence against children across the world. I also believe that the finals SDGs need to address other vital issues such as universal health coverage, climate change and human rights.
This year marks an important milestone in international development and I assure you that I will continue to press the UK Government to negotiate for a set of targets that are both achievable and inspiring. We must make sure we get these Goals right now in order to eradicate poverty and inequality by 2030.