|© Agence Kalam/2006|
|Children take to the stage in the Hall of the Parliament in Moroni for the launch of the first annual Study on Violence Against Children in the Indian Ocean Region.|
By Marlies Lensink
MORONI, Comoros, 17 November 2006 – About 25 children took to the stage last month for the official launch of the regional Study on Violence Against Children in the Indian Ocean Region. During the ceremony, which took place in the Hall of the Parliament in Moroni, the youths performed in short plays expressing their views on violence and abuse.
"We children want less speeches and more action to fight maltreatment," said one young participant.
The launch represents the first yearly report from the Indian Ocean Child Right’s Observatory, or ODEROI. As the region’s contribution to the international UN Study on Violence Against Children, the study highlights the presence of many varied types of violence in the Indian Ocean region – from maltreatment at home to corporal punishment and sexual abuse. It also discusses child labour practices as well as the inhumane conditions under which juveniles may be kept in prison.
The study and ODEROI are financially supported by UNICEF, the Indian Ocean Commission and the University of Mauritius.
An unacceptable crime
In attendance for the launch were Comorian President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi and members of the country’s cabinet, as well as representatives from UNICEF and the Indian Ocean Commission.
The popular Comorian singer Salim Ali Amir also contributed to the success of the ceremony with a special song about the phenomenon of ‘placed children’ – young children who are taken away from their families to serve as domestic workers.
During the ceremony, President Sambi stressed that the country has already ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has opened three UNICEF-supported centres, which provide psychosocial support to children suffering from abuse. The President also completely denounced violence against children, calling it "an unacceptable form of crime."
UN Study on Violence Against Children
UN Secretary-General's report launched [with video and audio]
UN study urges action to stop violence [with video and audio]
Kenyan child sex industry of ‘horrific’ magnitude [with video]
Sexual violence against children in Madagascar [with video]
Protecting Comorian children from sexual violence [with video]
Media projects for Moldovan youth offenders [with video]
The following external links open in a new window.
Violence through the eyes of young people [with video]