Kerastase launches "Care & Protect" campaign for children
By Indra Nadchatram
KUALA LUMPUR, 6 February 2007 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) child protection program in Malaysia will soon receive a nutritive boost thanks to luxury hair care brand Kerastase “Care and Protect” campaign. Exclusive to Malaysia, the Kerastase campaign is organised in response to the former UN Secretary-General’s call to action following the launch of his Report on Violence Against Children in October 2006.
According to Ms. Gaye Phillips, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Singapore and Brunei, thousands of children across the globe are daily denied the opportunity to enjoy a healthy and safe childhood, free from exploitation, abuse and violence.
“Tragically, not all children in our world benefit from a happy childhood. Too many children suffer abuses daily, sometimes at the hands of a stranger, sometimes at the hands of another child. Most times, children suffer violence at the hands of a trusted adult,” said Ms. Phillips.
Violence against children on the rise
Violence against children is defined to include physical violence, psychological violence, discrimination, neglect and maltreatment. It ranges from physical, verbal and sexual abuse in the home to humiliating punishment and bullying at school; as well as from abuse and neglect in institutions to gang warfare on the streets where children play or work.
In Malaysia, statistics from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development reported 1,656 child abuse cases in 2004, with sexual abuse being the highest. Media reports in the mean time suggest a rising number in cases of violence against children in schools, particularly in the form of bullying.
Reports from the Department of Social Welfare Malaysia reveal that the causes of child abuse and neglect include severe emotional pressures, pressures arising from poverty, marital relationship problems, poor housing conditions, negative employment situations, absence of supportive extended family members, fanatical religious or superstitious beliefs and a lack of general community welfare facilities and services. These reports also make it clear that the main reason children suffer violence is because they are the most vulnerable members in the family hierarchy.
Violation of human rights
Ms. Phillips stressed that Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Child clearly states that children have the right to protection from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.
“According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, violence against children in any form is a violation of their human rights. Violence against children can never be justified whether for disciplinary reasons or cultural tradition. It is pointless and counter-productive to humiliate children. There are non-violent ways to discipline children that are effective in helping children learn about family and social expectations for their behaviour,” asserted Ms. Phillips. “We should teach children through example and love.”
To help build a safe environment for children, Kerastase worked with three gifted Malaysian designers – Zang Toi, Donna Chew and Beatrice Looi to create limited edition bags communicating the message of care and protection for children.
Care and Protect campaign
“Kerastase is proud to extend its brand philosophy of ensuring the Best of Professional Care for Hair to protecting the rights of children. We are determined in joining our efforts to UNICEF’s ones to ensure that children are given every opportunity to grow up in a world free of violence and benefit from a healthy, safe and happy childhood. Our generous and involved professional salon partners are equally committed to participate in this campaign to raise funds for UNICEF and promote the rights of the child further,” said Mr. Matthieu Juery, General Manager of L’Oreal Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Professional Products Division.
Kerastase has pledged to raise a minimum RM 30,000 from the "Care and Protect" campaign for UNICEF’s child protection program in Malaysia. The public can play their part by purchasing a limited edition “designer” bag for RM 15 as fifty per cent from the sale will be donated to UNICEF. The bags will be available at more than 50 Kerastase salons nationwide until 31 March (or until stocks last).
“This a wonderful initiative by Kerastase and one that UNICEF welcomes with much gratitude. Not only is Kerastase raising funds for children, more importantly, it is sending a message amongst its clients that children need care and protection in their lives,” added Ms. Phillips.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
For information about the nearest Kerastase participating salon, please call the Kerastase hotline at 03-7727 1231.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children
The five-year Study combines human rights, public health and child protection perspectives and focuses on five ‘settings’ where violence occurs: the home and family, schools and educational settings, institutions (care and judicial), the workplace, and the community. Governments and civil society were engaged in various regional consultations to determine the range and extent of violence against children. The Study is the first one by the United Nations to engage directly and consistently with children, underlining and reflecting children’s status as rights holders, and their right to express views on all matters that affect them and have their views given due weight.
On 11 October 2006, Professor Pinheiro presented his independent report to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, at UNHQ in New York. The Secretary-General later in the same day launched his Report on Violence Against Children together with the UNICEF Executive Director.
The UN Secretary General’s Study reveals that the physical, emotional and psychological scars of violence can have severe implications for a child’s development, health and ability to learn. Findings from the Study indicate that experiencing violence in childhood is strongly associated with health risk behaviours later in life such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, physical inactivity and obesity. In turn, these behaviours contribute to some of the leading causes of disease and death, including cancers, depression, suicide and cardiovascular disorders.
Say No to Violence Against Children
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14 August 2006:
Youth gather to end violence against children