SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

August 26, 2016 14:10 ET

International conference on protecting world's vulnerable children comes to Calgary

University of Calgary hosts International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect at Calgary's Telus Convention Centre

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - August 26, 2016) - An international gathering of front-line agencies, international policy makers and researchers will convene August 28-31 at Calgary's Telus Convention Centre to share ideas and best practices for protecting the world's children from abuse and neglect.

The Congress of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) will discuss the greatest threats to children in 2016 while providing members with the latest research and sharing practical advice, solutions and support to better protect children around the world. Conference delegates include representatives from over 40 countries as well as policy advisors from the United Nations and World Health Organization.

The United Nations' statistics on child abuse are staggering: 53,000 children are murdered each year and hundreds of millions of children are subjected to various forms of abuse, violence and neglect, including 223 million children who are abused sexually.

Overall, ISPCAN President Joan van Niekerk says that basic needs remain a global priority, citing the overwhelming number of children without access to food, shelter, clothing, health care and education. "At the same time," she adds, "we need to look at how we prevent violence against children. How do we stop children from being hurt? Because violence against children occurs in every country and in every context around the world - in families, schools, communities and even in children's homes."

Lending their voice to the important issues at the conference are several keynote speakers, including Sheldon Kennedy, former hockey star and founder of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre; Cindy Blackstock, McGill professor who sued the Federal Government over the conditions for Indigenous children on reserves; and Peter Samuelson, Hollywood producer and founder of the Starlight Children's Foundation.

"I believe hosting this conference reflects the University of Calgary's commitment to protecting our children, here in Alberta, and around the world," says Jackie Sieppert, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work. "Child abuse and neglect is a critical issue in every country around the globe, including Canada. So I'm very pleased to provide an intellectual hub in Calgary, a place where we can learn from each other and identify the best practices and solutions to further the work of child protection around the world."

To underline the importance of making the protection of children a visible issue in our society the convention will 'kick-start' on Sunday, Aug. 28 with a ride by members of the Calgary Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, culminating in a short media event in front of the Telus Convention Centre, at 11 a.m.

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media centre at ucalgary.ca/news/media.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Don McSwiney
    Manager, Communications and Marketing
    Faculty of Social Work
    C: 403.408.9701
    dmcswine@ucalgary.ca