In 2006, the World Report on Violence Against Children was published by the United Nations, authored by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. This report was the first comprehensive global attempt to describe the scale of
all forms of violence against children and highlighted the large scale rate of violence against children at home, in schools, in their communities, and by the state despite most countries having signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
From a monitoring & evaluation perspective, why should I discuss child abuse and violence against children? One of the major findings of this study was that too many complicated and different tools were being used across countries which made it difficult to assess and compare child abuse rates and trends.
In response to this finding, recommendations were made to develop a approaches and standardized ways to measure voilence agaisnt children that would allow for cross-national comparisons. A set of tools were
developed by 122 experts and are discussed in an article published in 2009 in the journal, Child Abuse & Neglect. These tools are called the International Child Abuse Screening Tools (or ICAST). The ICAST tools were piloted in convenience samples in 7 countries representing all regions of the world. As stated in the journal article mentioned above, these tools were specifically designed to be used in cross-cultural, multi-national, multi-cultural studies so that comparisons could be made across time and countries.
There are 4 ICAST tools to measure child abuse: a) the parent report for young children, b) the child report, c) the institutionalized child report, and d) the young adult retrospective report. These 4 ICAST tools can be found on the International Child Abuse and Neglect website. They have been translated into the following languages: Spanish, Arabic, Icelandic, Hindi and Russian.
If your project or program is considering a baseline assessment of child abuse or violence, these tools may be useful.