Families important to children and their safety
PETALING JAYA, 20 November 2010 – Families are children’s first line of protection, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) emphasised today during its Family Fun Day held in conjunction with Universal Children’s Day.
According to UNICEF Representative to Malaysia Hans Olsen, the family provides a natural framework in which children can receive the emotional nourishment and support that is indispensable to their development.
“Children who grow up in a secure family life with lots of love and affection are often better adjusted, confident and well behaved compared to their peers who live in households that struggle with violence and abuse,” Mr. Olsen said. “A strong and happy family will ensure children feel safe, connected, valued and able to discuss their concerns and needs.”
Families crucial to society
Festivities at the UNICEF fun-filled day included games, magic shows and clowns for children and their families while a flashmob titled “Hide N Seek” by Random Alphabets was also held to the surprise of many shoppers. At the same time, parenting and child safety tips were shared by experts from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development’s National Population and Family Development Board and Childline Malaysia who are UNICEF’s partners for the event.
“Families play a crucial role in society,” highlighted Mr. Olsen. “It is within the family that children can learn positive values that will guide them for the rest of their lives, and it is within the family that people can learn key lessons about equality, tolerance and shared responsibility.”
The Family Fun Day is one of several programs by UNICEF under the Get on Board campaign to stop child abuse in Malaysia. It follows the 10th Anniversary of the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse on 19 November.
Family strengths to stop abuse
Some of the causes relating to child abuse are linked to the changing nature of communities and increased economic stress. Conditions such as job loss, divorce, poverty and substance addiction – and the stress and isolation that accompany these – can be breeding grounds for child abuse.
“Raising children is tough even under ideal circumstances, and fewer families today have the luxury of living in ideal circumstances. Whenever and wherever you combine increasing stress on the family with a lack of community resources to support families and parents, you are creating a situation in which child abuse is more likely to occur,” explained Mr. Olsen.
He added that “child abuse prevention efforts must build on family strengths and it must engage the community to ensure that children are protected from abuse.”..............................................................................................
NOTE TO EDITOR:
UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY
HIDE N SEEK FLASHMOB
For more information, please contact:
Indra Kumari Nadchatram
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