At a glance: United States of America

Around the world, echoing the call to #ENDviolence against children

Following on UNICEF's global campaign to draw attention to violence against children, regional and national offices across the globe have taken the initiative a step further, producing messages, videos and other materials to speak to a local audience. 

NEW YORK, United States of America, 26 November 2013 – To mark the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the child, UNICEF offices all over the world have launched campaigns aimed at preventing violence and abuse against children.

From East Timor to Uruguay, anti-violence messages were crafted and highlighted within the national and regional context. These efforts gave a massive push to the global #ENDviolence Against Children campaign and brought the issue into the spotlight.

“Too often, abuse occurs in the shadows: undetected, unreported, and – even worse – too often accepted,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We all have a responsibility to ‘make the invisible, visible’ – from governments enacting and enforcing laws to prohibit violence against children, to private citizens refusing to be silent when they witness or suspect abuse.” 

In Central and Eastern Europe, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson’s video is being adapted into four regional versions, including one in Russian. UNICEF Romania adapted the video for a national audience, with a voiceover by Smiley, a popular singer and music producer. 

UNICEF Romania: Make the Invisible Visible, narrated by singer and producer Smiley

 

In Serbia, primary and secondary schools have entered the ‘School Without Violence’ programme. UNICEF Serbia also held an award ceremony for best media reports on the prevention of digital violence against children and, together with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, a national conference on the issue of safety of schools.

In West and Central Africa, UNICEF offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone highlighted powerful stories and portraits of African people taking action at the grassroots level to prevent and address violence against children. The Liberian President marked the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children by calling for one minute of prayer to end violence against children. Churches in the country committed to ringing bells, and imams to call for prayers. Faith-based organizations worked together with UNICEF to mark the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in Sierra Leone. UNICEF Sierra Leone took the #ENDviolence against children video narrated by Liam Neeson and adapted it with a narration by local children. The video was screened throughout the country.

UNICEF Sierra Leone: Make the Invisible Visible, narrated by local children

 

In Mozambique, the ‘Zero Tolerance for Sexual Abuse of Children’ campaign continues, with five national videos featuring well-known Mozambique personalities, along with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson’s video translated in Portuguese. Swaziland also stepped up by launching the ‘one-stop facility’ in the country’s capital. The facility for women, children and girls will provide a range of services to victims of violence.

The message of ending violence against resonated through Latin America and the Caribbean, as well. Anguilla and Barbados joined others in marking the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children by launching the ‘Break the Silence: End Child Abuse’ campaign nationally.

In South Asia, UNICEF offices in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have been working tirelessly to increase awareness on violence against children, which takes many forms, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and harsh disciplinary practices, and often occurs in situations of war and conflict. UNICEF Sri Lanka launched the ‘Violence Free Society for Children’ campaign, which aims to build capacity of the protection system through training of government staff to identify and follow up on cases of violence, to equip children with skills to protect themselves, and to raise public awareness.

UNICEF offices in East Asia and the Pacific have also been urging public acknowledgement of the problem of violence against children and encouraging support and engagement with local movements to address a compelling global issue. On Universal Children’s Day, Indonesia joined the global initiative #ENDviolence against Children. So far, Indonesia – a nation of almost 242 million people, a third of them under 18 – has no national data on violence against children. The Government, with support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF, is undertaking a national survey in 25 of the 33 provinces on the prevalence of physical, emotional and sexual violence against boys and girls. Results and recommendations will be published next year.

In Mongolia, a music video entitled ‘Ever Innocent Child’ was launched to commemorate the anniversary of the CRC, under the theme of addressing ending violence against children.

UNICEF Mongolia: 'Ever Innocent Child' music video

 

The #ENDviolence initiative continues to gain support from European Union dignitaries, who tweeted and stamped the #ENDviolence hashtag. The President of the European Commission, President of the European Parliament, President of the European Council, the Commissioner for Humanitarian AID and the EU High Representative all gave strong backing to the #ENDviolence initiative.

“Violence against children does more than harm individual children; it undermines the fabric of society, affecting productivity, well-being, and prosperity,” said Anthony Lake. “No society can afford to ignore violence against children.”

 


 

 

UNICEF Photography: Making the invisible visible

 

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