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A voice for children and adolescents

A social awareness mobilising campaign against Violence towards girls, boys, and adolescents, “A voice for children and adolescents”


Santo Domingo, September 2010 - One of the main problems affecting boys, girls and adolescents, is related to the violation of the right to protection from all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse, including, sexual trade, trafficking and child labour. There are other situations which increase risk and vulnerability of both boys and girls, such as lack of proper parental care, and conflict with the law.


Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, states that it is the “obligation of the States Parties to adopt all legislative measures, as well as administrative, social, and educative, proper to protect the child against all forms of prejudice or physical and mental abuse, negligence or abandon, exploitation, including sexual abuse, whilst the child is under parental custody, legal guardianship, or under the care of any other person responsible.


Likewise on Article 39, it is also stated that it is the obligation of the States to take the proper measures to ensure that the most vulnerable children receive aproppriate treatment that guarantees their recuperation and reinsertion to an environment that promotes health, self respect and dignity of the child.


The Dominican Republic, as a signing party of this Convention since 1991, has carried out paramount efforts in adjusting the legal framework to the mandates established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the Optional Protocol of the Convention, related to the selling of children, child prostitution, and the utilization of children in pornography, ratified by the nation in 2005.


The Dominican Republic Law 136-03 or Code for the System of Protection of the Fundamental Rights of Children and Adolescents, establishes the concepts, roles and responsibilities for protection of children and adolescents. One of the most relevant aspects of this system is that it defines the operating mechanisms for protection, attention, reinsertion and assurance of the rights of this part of the population.


However, despite the achieved progress, the concern is greater each time due to the ostensible increase in violation to children’s rights in the country, including violence against children and adolescents, which can be carried out in different contexts and by different actors: families, schools, communities and institutions. The weak response at the institutional level with most of the ongoing cases is also a matter of concern.


The campaign http://www.unavozporlaniñez.com/ calls to collect signatures to demand the government and organisms` action and responsibility towards a “Zero Tolerance” against violence to children and adolescents.


The idea is get involved in developing an effective system to take legal action and bring to court violence activities against children. It has been tested in other countries that this tool is the first step to fight this problem.


For more information:

Patricia García, pgarcia@unicef.org, UNICEF Dominican Republic,

Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean



UNICEF is on the ground in over 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


unite for children