Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean accompanies Jenna Bush in a visit to UNICEF projects in Peru
Lima, 17 January 2008 - UNICEF’s Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jean Gough, together with Jenna Bush, collaborator of the United States Committee for UNICEF, have wrapped up their four-day visit to Peru.
As is well known, yesterday they visited Pisco and Chincha in the company of Josefina García Nores, daughter of President García. The visitors, who were quite impressed by the work UNICEF has been doing following the emergency, had the opportunity to visit a recreation centre (ludoteca) and an integrated protection centre in Chincha where stimulation and appropriate baby food are provided. They then travelled to Pisco, where they visited a shelter with a recreation centre for children and adolescents, and a school where Jenna Bush gave a short class for first-graders.
“We had a remarkable visit in Peru. We visited UNICEF supported programs in Pisco and Chincha and we were filled with incredible hope visiting the schools, recreation centres and the shelters. The kids and their families were appreciative of what UNICEF, the Peruvian State, and other relief organizations have done to help them regain their rights and help them return to normal life,” said Jenna.
Today’s visits began with the Module of Attention for Child Abuse in Health (MAMIS) at the Cayetano Heredia Hospital, where they were received by Doctor Luis Vergara, Director of the Hospital, who explained that this service by the Ministry of Health makes it possible to detect cases of sexual abuse of children. After visiting the doctors’ offices where the children are attended, Jenna Bush showed great interest in the link that the MAMIS and the attorney general’s office have built in order to perform better follow-up of this sort of cases. MAMIS authorities commented that between June and December of last year, 140 cases of sexual abuse and violence were referred to the attorney general’s office, and forty are currently being attended.
After leaving the hospital, the retinue left for the Public Ministry, where they were received by the Head Attorney General for North Lima, Doctor Gilberto Félix Tasaico and the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Doctor Luis Bomley. Dr. Bomley informed the visitors that in Peru an act of violence is committed every four minutes, and it is estimated that 40% of the 742 thousand children living in the Northern Cone are victims of some kind of violence. Given these alarming figures, the Public Ministry, with cooperation from UNICEF, has installed Gessell Chambers, which are single interview rooms for attending victims of sexual abuse. In these chambers, the victims are interviewed by a psychologist in a session that is observed by members of the justice system like the attorney general’s office, the judge, the ombudsperson, the police and others.
For her part, UNICEF’s Jean Gough congratulated the Public Ministry for the excellent work it is doing to avoid the re-victimization of these abused children, and indicated the need to reinforce psychological therapy for the victims in a more systematized way. “I congratulate the Public Ministry for its admirable labour, and exhort it to progressively expand this State policy around the country”, she said.
Upon concluding her visit, Jenna Bush thanked all the persons that had made this trip possible. ““I am proud to be part of this mission and, although I am sad to leave the beautiful country of Peru, I am proud of all we have accomplished.”
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