|© UNICEF video|
|Pamela Shifman is a UNICEF Child Protection Officer.|
By Blue Chevigny
New York, 3 November 2005: Pamela Shifman grew up in a big family in Oak Park, Michigan, outside Detroit. When she was a girl, her parents were actively committed to children’s rights on a local level. “They instilled in me and my brothers and sisters an idea that we can make the world a better place,” she says. “And that we cannot ignore inequality and injustice, and that we have to work for change.”
“What I do is work to make sure that children around the world are safe from violence, exploitation and abuse,” Ms. Shifman says. As a Child Protection officer, she has spent time recently in Sudan’s Darfur region. She was there to examine the grave problem of the sexual abuse of girls and women in refugee camps, and to make sure that UNICEF’s programmes there address the situation.
Ms. Shifman says the reason she thinks UNICEF’s work is so important is universality: “We value all children. We value children in Michigan, in Ohio, New York, Botswana, Bangkok and Sierra Leone.”
As a citizen of the United States, Ms. Shifman feels a special commitment to working on global issues. “We are connected to our neighbours and the rest of the world in every way possible. And I think, as Americans, it’s really important that we are part of the global community.”
For Pamela Shifman, being on the front lines of the fight for children’s rights is a privilege. She says with conviction that she looks forward to coming to work every day.