End violence against children - Children are innocent
Ulaanbaatar 20 November, 2013 – UNICEF Mongolia today launched the next phase of the global End Violence Against Children Initiative, participating in a high-level meeting with the Mongolian National Council for Children and launching a special song aimed at encouraging an end to violence against children, on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children in every country of the world still experience violence, even though the Convention on the Rights of the Child is now 24 years old and is one of the most universally accepted international treaties. “In every country, in every culture, there is violence against children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake at the launch of UNICEF’s global End violence against children Initiative in June. “Whenever and wherever children are harmed, our outrage and anger must be seen and heard. We must make the invisible visible,” he added.
“The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a landmark treaty that establishes the minimum standards that must be met if children are to develop to their full potential, free from hunger, want, neglect and abuse,” explained Mohamed Malick Fall, UINICEF’s Representative in Mongolia. “The special and very successful meeting of Mongolia’s National Council for Children today, chaired by Prime Minister Altankhuyag, is an important sign of a national commitment to ensure the rights of Mongolia’s children are respected and to eliminate violence against children.”
Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard, and underreported. It inflicts not only physical wounds on children but also leaves mental scars that can mar their development in significant ways and can affect physical and mental health, compromise the ability to learn and socialize and undermine children’s development.
In Mongolia, there is growing evidence that violence against children too often remains hidden behind closed doors -- in homes and in schools. Nearly half of all children aged two to 14 years were subject to at least one form of psychological or physical punishment by a household member, according to a 2012 survey . The same survey also found one in ten adults believes that a husband is justified in beating his wife . Spousal violence is not only an unacceptable violation of the spouse’s human rights, but can also cause severe psychological damage to children who witness it.
UNICEF is also working with unconventional partners including singers and artists, to explain the importance of eliminating violence against children to all Mongolians. A special song in Mongolian, titled ‘Ever innocent child', and written and performed by premier Mongolian artists and children, was also launched today to amplify the call for a respectful and supportive approach to children’s rights.
“This fabulous song will reach children, families, communities, parents, teachers and caregivers and, combined with government efforts, will help change social norms that condone corporal punishment at home or in school despite evidence of the suffering and damage that it causes”, said Mr Fall. “We are very happy that artists working across different genres, styles and generations have combined to use their considerable talent to support this new campaign to eliminate violence against children.”
The song is performed by famous Mongolian performers, including Ms Altantsetseg, Mr Batchuluun, Ms Sarantuya, and Mr Khurelbaatar, who are joined by children from the Children’s Palace.
The End violence against children Initiative urges ordinary citizens, lawmakers, and governments to speak out more forcefully to fight violence against children and seeks to bring together new ideas to guide collective actions on this front.
“The momentum for action that this commemoration of the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has created must be maintained and must lead us to a world where all children’s rights are fulfilled,” said Mr. Fall. “The partnership between the Government of Mongolia, UNICEF and civil society has contributed to a real commitment to change, as witnessed by the signing of the children’s pledge by presidential candidates, excellent work done by the Mongolian women’s caucus and joint efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that the proper legislation guaranteeing Mongolian children; rights are in place,” he concluded.
Protecting children is at the heart of UNICEF’s mandate. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that every child everywhere has the right to be protected from all forms of violence.
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