On 19 October 2007 at UNICEF House, (left-right) American playwright, actor and poet Sarah Jones and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman smile after signing an agreement appointing Ms. Jones as UNICEF Spokesperson on Violence against Children.
NEW YORK, 19 October 2007 - The one year progress report for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children finds signs of progress in combating child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, violence in educational settings and some forms of child labour.
The new report, presented today at the sixty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, is the one year follow-up to the groundbreaking Secretary General’s Violence Study that was released in October 2006.
The report’s release is being marked by a special performance by Sarah Jones, the award-winning actress of the Broadway hit, “Bridge and Tunnel.” UNICEF, today appointed Jones as an official Spokesperson on Violence against Children.
"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Jones as UNICEF Spokesperson on Violence against Children," said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director. "Sarah Jones' multi-character performances highlight the impact of violence on children and help raise awareness that we must all work to protect children."
While the Secretary General’s Violence Study succeeded in raising global awareness of a problem that is often hidden, today's progress report reaffirms the commitment for the 12 overarching recommendations. These recommendations include; targeted legislative reforms, training of professionals who deal with children, public awareness raising campaigns, improved data collection and accountability.
Efforts to end violence against children often lack strategic planning, commitment and resources. In order to form one clear, concise and coordinated approach for the prevention and response to violence against children; governments and organizations have pledged to prioritise communication efforts, identify challenges and share good practices.
"We must all unite, no matter what social, economic or cultural background, to end violence against children,” said Sarah Jones the newly appointed UNICEF Spokesperson on Violence against Children. “The consequences will be grave and damaging if we fall short of our responsibility."
For children’s rights to become part of mainstream policy and perception, the progress report advocates social change through sustained community involvement, mobilization of political support and strengthening of partnerships among key actors at the local, regional and international levels. Participation and collaboration of children and young people is also crucial.
Child protection is an integral part of UNICEF’s contribution towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goal’s as it takes into account all the needs of a child, from child protection, education, young child survival, growth and development. Any progress made globally on the Millennium Development Goals will be undermined if the issue of violence, abuse and exploitation go undetected and ignored.
The Violence Study first presented at the United Nation General Assembly in 2006, addressed the issue of violence against children within five different settings: the family, schools, alternative care and detention facilities, places where children work and communities.
This was the first global study in which children have directly participated, not only describing the violence they experienced but also their proposals for ending it.
About UNICEF UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For further information, please contact: Saira Khan, UNICEF Media New York, + 1 212 326 – 7224, firstname.lastname@example.org