Violence has deep and lasting impacts on the health and well-being of youth over their lifetimes—affecting multiple development outcomes outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) are nationally representative surveys of youth 13–24; it has been implemented in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. VACS provide a platform for countries to measure the burden of violence and direct resources to address it. VACS is also a global measurement tool to capture data on progress towards SDGs as well as various development outcomes that could affect the achievement of multiple SDGs. This presentation will review VACS data on violence-related SDG indicators and discuss VACS as a tool for measuring progress. In 13 countries that completed VACS (Swaziland; Tanzania; Kenya; Zimbabwe; Haiti; Cambodia; Malawi; Nigeria; Lao; Zambia; Rwanda; Uganda; Botswana), these data can be used to establish baselines on SDG goals and inform programs and policies. Across these countries, completion of primary school (SDG Target 4.1.1) ranged from 57.2% to 97.9% for girls, and completion of secondary school (SDG 4.1.1) ranged from 23.7% to 80.7%. Of these countries, 6 have not achieved gender parity in primary education, and 4 have not achieved gender parity in secondary education (SDG 4.5.1). The proportion of women and girls subjected to sexual violence ranged from 3.0% to 25.4% (SDG 5.2.2), and marriage before the age of 18 (SDG 5.3.1) ranged from 0.2% to 29.6%. Sexual violence before the age of 18 (SDG 16.2.3) ranged from 4.4% to 37.8% for girls, and from 0% to 38.9% of victims reported their experience to authorities (SDG 16.3.1). Recently, CDC and Together for Girls undertook a rigorous stakeholder engagement process to revise the Core questionnaire. As a result, the survey is better positioned to track progress on additional SDG targets.
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