TBILISI, Georgia, 1 June, 2018. A communication for social change campaign to influence social norms on violence against children was launched on the Child Protection Day in Georgia. The initiative, which is carried out by UNICEF with the support of the European Union, will last until the end of the year and contribute to forming a shared understanding of what is violence against children and that violence is unacceptable.
“Ending violence against children is a responsibility of the state and there is a need to further enhance the implementation of the state child protection mechanisms, especially to strengthen the measures of early detection and immediate and adequate response to violence”, said Laila O. Gad, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “But it is also important to change cultural and social norms that contribute to the high level of tolerance towards violence. Ending violence against children is everybody’s business. We all have to unite our efforts to make the invisible visible.” added Laila O. Gad.
The campaign is based on a social norms analysis study, which scrutinized the norms related to violence against children and confirmed that using violent parenting methods is a social norm. Harsh disciplining of children is frequent in families and schools.
“Children may experience violence on the street, at home or school. It can be both physical and psychological, often leaving a lasting impression. The EU works closely with the Government to respond with systems such as the Child Protection Referral Procedure. But these alone cannot address the challenge presented by social norms which tend to accept disciplinary use of violence and physical punishment. With today's launch of the 'End Violence' awareness campaign, we hope to raise public discussion of these issues and support a shift to improving methods of education and parenting," said János Herman, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.
A social change communication campaign - End Violence - will initiate public dialogue and create a core group of advocates in the country to assist with further changes. The objective of the campaign is for more people to learn and use alternative, positive parenting methods and to create core groups that will act as change makers in the social norm transformation process.
Children and youth will receive information about violence and how to solve problems in non-violent ways. As part of the campaign, special textbooks and comics for children will be developed. Meetings will be held with teachers and young people in schools and universities throughout Georgia. Debates will be organized for schoolchildren on violence.
Discussions will also be initiated within professional groups (teachers, social workers) and community members in Tbilisi and several regions.
The campaign is being implemented as part of the EU supported programme “Human Rights for All”.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.