“PROTECT MY CHILDHOOD” A massive campaign to prevent violence against children launched today in Moldova
Chisinau, 22 October 2013 – The campaign entitled "Protect my childhood", launched today by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family in partnership with UNICEF, business and civil society, aims to reduce violence against children by informing parents and families about positive parenting practices.
"Explain when doing wrong, praise when doing well" is one of the messages of the campaign adressed to parents in order to prevent violence against children. The campaign is also making a call to communities to take action in cases of violence and inform the police, social worker, authorities or other community specialist when withnessing a case of abuse.
Violent practices as a form of disciplining children are widespread in Moldova. More than half of children aged 6-7 years old are subject to physical punishment. Moreover, even children up to 1 year are beaten by their parents. The violence is often caused by public tolerance to this phenomenon, the social norms that encourage beating and lack of positive communication skills of parents with children.
"The efforts of the Ministry are oriented towards family and child welfare through the development of the regulatory framework, diversification of social services for families with children, capacity building for professionals, identification, assessment, support and monitoring of children at risk. A key element in the protection system is to empower families in raising children, strengthening the role of parents in children's life skills, based on non-violent values and social solidarity. Messages adressed by parents today are reflected in children’s behaviors tomorrow. But efficiency can only be based on intersectoral and multidisciplinary approach as child protection is a very complex system and can not be separated", Minister of Labour , Social Protection and Family, Valentina Buliga, said during the launching press conference.
"Every child has the right to live in a loving and safe environment. Parents should be supported to learn how to educate their children with care and without violence. Parental programs and educational media programs are extremely important in this regard. There is also a need to improve community services and referral mechanisms to identify and assist victims of violence so that every child in Moldova is protected from violence and has the best start in life ", said Nune Mangasaryan, UNICEF Representative in Moldova.
An important component of violence prevention campaign is distributing informative leaflets with practical advice about non-violent education to 700,000 families in Moldova. The leaflets are distributed with electricity bills during September-November 2013, thanks to a public-private partnership project supported by the company GasNatural Fenosa and the Association of Persons with Disabilities "Motivation", whose beneficiaries are involved in attaching the information to bills.
„Gas Natural Fenosa actively supports the prevention of violence against children in Moldova. It is an example of public-private partnership for social causes and it is in line with our group’s social corporate responsibility. We hope that by this campaign every person in Moldova will realize how important is love, patience and proper education to ensure a prosperous society in the future. Children need to grow up happy and receive adequate treatment”, Silvia Radu, President of Gas Natural Fenosa in Moldova, said.
The "Protect my childhood" campaign is launched in the framework of the UN week in Moldova and will run for one year in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health. The campaign will include several outreach activities at national and local level, including dissemination of video spots, public lectures, informative classes, drawing competitions in all schools, mass media activities. In parallel, there will be trainings of specialists and strengthening of the legal framework to better identify and support children victims of violence and abuse in Moldova.