Whatever the cause or source of violent behavior may be, children who are subjected or witness to violence can be physically or psychologically damaged. Denied their right to develop, as a result of failure to protect them from violence, such children are unlikely to realise their potential as mature adults. The toll of individual suffering is untenable for any modern society. The costs to the state in terms of wasted talent and human resources are immeasurable. Violence against children can best be portrayed as a pyramid, with all but its tip buried in the deep sands of adult ignorance, self-deception and apathy. The tip represents the tiny proportion of violence which comes to official notice. States have the obligations to do all they can deter and prevent violence and to create the necessary conditions to protect children from violence wherever it occurs. To fulfill these obligations, states are required to develop clear legislation which prohibits all forms of violence against children, including all corporal punishment; to ensure appropriate and effective enforcement of the law and to take all other necessary measures -educational, social and administrative- to prevent and eliminate violence.
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