Let’s end violence against children
According to recent information, the levels of violence in Latin America and the Caribbean have reached epidemic proportions and around 28.7% of the victims are youths between the ages of 10-19yrs. Six million children in the Latin American and Caribbean region suffer severe abuse, including abandonment, and 80,000 children below the age of 18 die annually due to abuse on behalf of their parents.
Dominican Republic is not exempted from this reality. The corporal punishment keeps on being applied as disciplinary practice approved at homes and schools, Enhogar 2006 revealed that 83% of children between the ages of 2-14 receive corporal or psychological punishment in their homes.
Despite this crude situation and that of which violence is an evil in itself from the point of view of human rights, as also a problem of public health due to the loss in years of healthy living, these statistics are neither a source of social concern nor object of headlines.
Providing complete information regarding the magnitude and types of violence against children and adolescents is not possible, for many of the cases are seldom denounced and the lack of an information system does not contribute to better interventions of political and social level towards prevention, control and follow-up.
Parting from its commitment to support and promote children’s rights as well as the rights of youths towards physical and personal integrity, and defining protection standards, UNICEF, via its social movement “Una voz por la niñez”, which aims to raise awareness, sensitize and educate Dominican society regarding the reality of issues where children and youths are the victims.
We seek to transform Dominican society into a stage of change. We require all society to join along, for eradicating violence against children and youths in general requires commitment from everyone, showing the world that Dominicans are part of the problem, but wish to also be part of the solution.
“Una voz por la niñez” pursues to demand the Government to assume a public commitment to work alongside entities and responsible organizations, in the creation and development of an effective system of denunciation and follow-up to the many different cases of violence committed against children. It is proven by experience in other countries that creating and developing such a tool is the first step towards battling this sad reality.
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