Baker McKenzie and World Vision have today launched a new pro bono partnership in support of World Vision's 'End Violence Against Children' program.

The partnership with World Vision was launched as part of Baker McKenzie's annual Asia Pacific partner meeting, held this year in Taipei.

End Violence Against Children, or EVAC, was launched exactly one year ago, and is a five-year global campaign. With the tagline, “It takes a world to end violence against children”, World Vision has been rolling out this campaign across 70 offices worldwide, including 20 locations in Asia Pacific.

In the Asia Pacific region, this campaign is primarily focused on physical violence in schools and the home, corporal punishment in all settings, sexual abuse, child labour, child trafficking and child marriage.

The campaign is guided by the World Health Organization’s INSPIRE* package of seven evidence-based best practices to end violence against children.

Baker McKenzie will bring a range of legal expertise to the project, including:
Analysis of legislative barriers to victims getting protection in court as well as policy analysis and recommendations around child protection laws.
Development of tools and training on laws related to child protection in various jurisdictions across Asia Pacific.
Guides for frontline staff to gain easy access to relevant information and contacts.
Legal assistance around specific cases.

This project builds on the success of pro bono work provided by legal professionals of Baker McKenzie across eight countries in the Asia Pacific for World Vision on the project to End Trafficking in Persons, which has seen the global law firm provide a range of legal solutions as part of their own push to end modern slavery.

Commenting on today's program launch, Bee Leay Teo, Partner, Baker McKenzie Taipei, said:

"World Vision has been at the front line of helping children in need for decades, and their End Violence Against Children program is making a real difference across the world. One of the first lessons learned in the fight to stop violence against children is that the implementation and enforcement of laws is one of the most powerful tools you have, and that is where a firm such as Baker McKenzie can add real value."

World Vision, an international Christian aid and development agency, launched this program in part as a response to the particularly high levels of violence against children and child labour in Asia Pacific region.

The number of working children in Asia Pacific is, by far, the most numerous in the world. In South Asia and Pacific alone 77.7 million children are subject to child labour. Roughly one out of every five boys and girls has been sexually abused and up to four out of every 10 children report some form of emotional abuse.

Abid Gulzar, Director, Advocacy and Justice for Children, World Vision East Asia, said:

"World Vision places the highest priority on the protection of children, which is defined as all measures taken to prevent and respond to exploitation, neglect, abuse, and other forms of violence that affect boys and girls. The time to take courageous action on violence against children is now. Baker McKenzie has world-class quality of expertise and skills that are needed to enhance the course of the program. We expect millions of children under the harm and shadow of violence in the Asia and Pacific Region will be benefited from this cooperation with Baker McKenzie "

World Vision’s campaign aligns with and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 to “end the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children” and advocate that “Education is a key to ending violence against children”, and dedicate to change the fragile situation of children.

*INSPIRE stands for:
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
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