Focusing on everyday violence against children
“Every time our employer left the house, she would lock the doors and gates from the outside. She would put chains in the outer side of the grills and then padlock everything,” explained “Rhea” in the first issue of the East Asia and Pacific Violence Against Children newsletter about her first job as a domestic worker in Manila.
“We couldn’t understand why our employer would always punish us,” she wrote, adding that they were never paid. “She would pull my hair and then bang our faces against the wall. Sometimes, when our employer was tired, she would force one of us to beat the other. I couldn’t take that kind of cruelty.”
According to Rhea’s report, Visayan Forum, an NGO in the Philippines, sheltered the girls once they escaped and helped them to file a case of child abuse against their employers. The story included an email address for contacting the NGO for more details about their work and about violence in work situations.
Each issue of the newsletter centres on one of the six themes of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Study on Violence Against Children: work situations, streets and communities, juvenile justice, homes, schools and institutions, with a seventh issue looking at violence in cyberspace and other communication technologies.
The regional newsletter series is designed to increase awareness of the global UN study and to encourage greater in-depth analysis of the situation of children and everyday violence. The features and resource listings give a regional and national perspective to issues contained in the report, which will be launched 9 October.
The newsletter primarily targets journalists and researchers, providing them with background on the issue and various agencies, activists and children in the region who are taking a stand against the violence. It also includes media tips and story ideas, contacts for interviews and recommended reading. The newsletter is mostly being distributed electronically to the media as well as government officials, various agencies and NGOs and academics.
A coalition of seven regional agencies is producing the newsletter series: UNICEF, World Vision, Save the Children Sweden, Plan International, ECPAT, Child Workers in Asia and UNESCO.
To read the current newsletter and back issues: www.vaceastasiapacific.org
Updated: December 2006
Monthly newsletters on key issues of the UN violence against children study in East Asia and the Pacific:
Issue 1: VAC in work situation