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The Minister of Education launches the Government's 'zero tolerance' campaign against violence and abuse of children

© UNICEF Mozambique/2011/A. Drivdal
Minister of Education Zeferino Martins being greeted by a student at the Francisco Manyanga Secondary School in Maputo on June 29, 2011, for the launch of the 'zero tolerance' anti-violence campaign.

MAPUTO, Mozambique, 29 June 2011 – At an event at the Francisco Manyanga Secondary School in Maputo this morning, the Minister of Education, Mr. Zeferino Martins, officially launched the Government's 'zero tolerance' campaign against violence and abuse of children.The campaign is a joint effort between five line ministries (MINED, MMAS, MINT, MISAU and MinJus) and involves UNICEF and civil society organizations organized through the children's rights network (ROSC).

In his address to the audience, the Minister emphasized the Government's determination and commitment to fighting the problem and to create positive conditions for children. He thanked the people featuring in the mass media campaign on the issue: former President Joaquim Chissano, former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, Stewart Sukuma and Mingas. In conclusion, the Minister said that children represent the country's greatest resource and that the Government would continue to invest in them.

© UNICEF Mozambique/2011/A. Drivdal
The Minister of Education walking together with representatives of other Government Ministries.With the Vice-Minister of Health on his right.

Dr. Roberto de Bernardi, representing UNICEF, spoke of the prevalence of premature marriage and child birth, which is a form of abuse and often leads to girls leaving school early. He stated that communities need to overcome the 'culture of silence' in which the victims and their parents do not speak up and their voices are not heard, a situation that often arises because the perpetrators of abuse often are related to or close to the victim.

The 'zero tolerance' campaign involves a mass media component aimed at helping to change social norms and individual behaviors - four TV spots and a number of radio spots will be aired on the country's TV and radio channels in coming months. These spots will be all made available on UNICEF's web site, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For more information, please contact:

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org  

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org  

Comunicado de Imprensa: Promovendo uma cultura de Tolerância Zero à Violência e o Abuso Sexual da criança em Moçambique
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