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Ending sexual violence and harmful practices

Families sign a hand poster to declare their support for ending FGM and child marriage in Egypt
Families in southern Egypt sign their names on a hand-shaped Plan International poster to openly declare their support for ending child marriage and female genital mutilation

We recognise that practices such as early marriagefemale genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and sexual violence are violations of girls’ and boys’ sexual health rights. These often have severe and deep-rooted negative impacts on children's and young people's physical and psychological well-being, their sense of self-worth and their successful future development.

Plan International is dedicated to mobilising parents, community leaders, government authorities and other children and young people to identify, analyse, understand and end the harmful practices and sexual violence children and young people face. 

Together we advocate to improve legal frameworks and to ensure they are being effectively implemented. A key element to our approach is to give young people a voice in this process, to involve them – particularly girls – and to empower them to claim their rights to a safer, more fulfilling life.

Case study: Child marriage and female genital mutilation in Tanzania

Plan International UK’s EC-funded project ‘Preventing Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in High Risk Communities in Tanzania’ raises awareness of girls' rights and facilitates dialogue on harmful practices using theatre, football, community discussions and at the national level through campaigns with the Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network.

Girls are given lifeskills education and support at local girls’ clubs to improve livelihood opportunities and strengthen their knowledge of sexual reproductive health rights so that they can make informed choices. A capacity-building component supports key stakeholders to implement child protection and reporting mechanisms.

At the national level, campaigns with the Tanzania Football Federation and Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network are targeting wider attitudes against harmful practices. The project aims to reach 1,400 girls and young women in the age range 10 to 24, as well as boys, parents, police, community and religious leaders.