PRETORIA, 21 May, 2010 - With twenty days before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™ in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma joined Social Development Minister Edna Molewa and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke in calling for vigilance in protecting children while acknowledging the child protection efforts of UNICEF and partners as an enduring legacy of the World Cup.
“While we are excited that we'll be receiving visitors for the FIFA World Cup we must be mindful that an event of this magnitude opens opportunity for criminals with ill intentions of trafficking in women and children,.” Said President Zuma, at the launch of annual Child Protection Week
“I urge parents to take extra care and ensure that children are supervised and provided with guidance all the time. The Government, FIFA, UNICEF and social workers are preparing to provide assistance in the host cities. Let us all look after our children as they enjoy the games.”
UNICEF, in collaboration with key civil society partners, is supporting the Government to develop and implement measures to prevent and reduce the possible abuse, exploitation and trafficking that some children might experience during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
A key initiative is the establishment of child-friendly spaces in cooperation with the host cities at four of FIFA Fan Fest sites in Sandton, Soweto, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth. These spaces are operated at no charge to families which is expected to attract up to 10- 40,000 people per day, among who are children, to watch the games on big screen TVs.
Children will be able to play safely under the supervision of trained volunteers in the child-friendly spaces, watch the football matches, and be referred to specialized assistance if necessary.
UNICEF’s child friendly spaces will be open when the FIFA Fan Fests opens to the public on 11 June.
For further information, please contact:
Yvonne Duncan, Media
Tel +27 82 561 0196 / +27 82 561 3970