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Celebrities join UNICEF Mexico for campaign benefiting children’s rights

MEXICO CITY, 19 September  2007 - At the launch of ‘Gifts from the heart’ campaign last night in Mexico City, eleven Mexican celebrities joined forces and formed a formidable chorus promoting children’s right to birth registration, to education, and to grow up free from child labour, violence, and exploitation. This campaign aims to focus the Mexican society towards the need to guarantee every child their every right.
 
The all star cast included UNICEF Mexico Goodwill Ambassador, César Costa, singer Julieta Venegas, national team soccer players Guillermo Ochoa and Gerardo Torrado, entertainment wrestler El Hijo del Santo, Olympic medalist Iridia Salazar, TV actor Jaime Camil, race pilot Michel Jourdain, TV actress Jacqueline Bracamontes, chef Mónica Patño and radio host Martha Debayle.
 
The campaign includes a range of TV and radio spots, posters, billboards, all aimed at informing and mobilizing Mexican people around the issue of children’s rights.
 
“In Mexico, every year thousands of children try to cross the borders alone. Many of them face serious violations of their rights and expose themselves to forced labour and exploitation,” said the Mexican popstar and singer Julieta Venegas.
 
Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and home to almost 40 million children under the age of 18. Economic growth over the last years has made Mexico an upper-middle income country, but there remain tremendous disparities and social exclusion.
 
“This campaign reaches out to a cross section of Mexican life, the reason for that is simple. If we want every Mexican child to be granted and to enjoy their rights, it will involve the commitment of governmental institutions, private sector, civil society, and media and of each and every Mexican citizen – to turn their commitment into action, and to show that investing in children is more than a slogan. Investing in children means investing in the development of Mexico” said Susana Sottoli, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.
 
The messages of the campaign reflect UNICEF’s priorities in Mexico for the next five years:

• the right to every child to education and UNICEF´s support to national efforts which aim to ensure the universal access to quality education, particularly for excluded and most vulnerable children;

• the right to be protected and the eradication of child labour;

• the protection of the rights of migrant children, through the development of safe mechanisms of stay and repatriation to their places of origin, both for Mexican children being repatriated from the US and children from Central American being repatriated by Mexico;

• public policies and partnerships for children’s rights and UNICEF’s role to highlight disparities and exclusion that deeply affect Mexican children by generating knowledge, disseminating data and promoting social mobilization for children’s rights.
 
The fundraising part of the campaign includes invitations for people to buy UNICEF’s cards and gifts during Christmas holidays and donate for UNICEF. The funds raised by the campaign will contribute to financing UNICEF’s work for children in Mexico.

The situation of children in Mexico
 
• Chronic malnutrition among under-five children affects more than 1.2 million children (12.7 per cent of under-five population in Mexico). Disparities are striking: stunting figures are 25.6 per cent in the Southern (where live most of indigenous people) whereas that figure is 6.9 per cent in Northern areas.

• Approximately 3.3 million Mexican children 6-14 years of age work; one quarter of them do not attend school. Less than 10per cent of children of migrant farm-workers (jornaleros) - around 300,000 - have access to school.

• Violence against children and adolescents is a serious problem in Mexico – it is especially rampant in schools and at home. According to the National Study on Violence and Health launched by the Government in 2007, 28 per cent of children aged 6-9 years reported being treated with violence at home and 32 per cent at school.


To learn more about UNICEF’s work in Mexico, please visit: www.unicef.org/mexico

For more information, please contact:

 Rachel Mello, UNICEF Mexico, Tel + 52 55 52849556; Email: (rmello@unicef.org) and Monica Sayrols, UNICEF Mexico, email:(msayrols@unicef.org)


 

 

 

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