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Photo contest: Hands are for caring, not hitting

Get on Board - Stop child abuse now!
UNICEF invites the public to share photos to show hands used to nurture children and not to inflict pain

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 November 2010 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched an online photo contest today to highlight that hands are to guide, nurture and give comfort to children, and not to hit them. A part of the ‘Get on Board’ campaign to stop child abuse in Malaysia, the contest seeks to reinforce every child’s right to live healthy happy lives, free of violence.

“Hands are not meant to abuse, but to cherish and protect children,” said UNICEF Representative to Malaysia Hans Olsen. “We hope this contest will reinforce the message that violence against children is never okay. Instead of hitting, caning or punching them, we should manage our anger and use our hands for positive caring actions.”

The digitally-driven photo contest invites the public to submit their work that best capture the theme “Hands are for Caring, Not Hitting” by emailing their entries to Photos will be published on UNICEF Malaysia’s Facebook page ( on Universal Children’s Day on 20 November for online voting which will continue until 30 November. The winning photos will be selected based on the number of ‘Likes’ it receives.

Abuse shatters a child’s world

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force on 20 November 1989, upholds that childhood is a unique and critical stage of life when all children share the same basic needs for safety, health, nurturance, and dignity.

Violence and abuse not only humiliates children, it shatters their basic right to feel safe and secure in the world. Children who are exposed to violence may have difficulty learning and limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky or delinquent behaviours or suffer from depression or severe anxiety.

“Abuse degrades children and robs them of their self-worth and self-respect,” stressed Mr. Olsen, “it also teaches them violence is a legitimate way to sort out conflicts. Worse it can cause physical and psychological injury and even death.”

Children need abuse to stop

The "Hands are for Caring" photo contest aims to promote UNICEF’s stand that children need abuse to stop as it breaches their fundamental rights to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity.

Positive, non-violent forms of discipline which include reasoning and talking with children in age-appropriate ways, modelling patience, kindness, empathy, and cooperation; providing daily opportunities for children to practice rational problem solving and giving praise to a child, even in non verbal ways such as a pat on the shoulder, are some ways to instill good behavior in children.

“Much can be changed by bringing the problem of child abuse into the open. We hope that parents, teachers and young people themselves will use this contest to explore and capture the theme from their own unique perspective,” invited Mr. Olsen. “For our children and their future, our message to all must be hands are for caring, not hitting.”

Visit our Contest page for details.



The 'Get on Board' Campaign is a two-month initiative by UNICEF and its partners to provide the Malaysian public with a platform to learn and respond to child abuse in the country. The digitally-driven Campaign, a first by UNICEF in the region, aims to strengthen public understanding of child abuse and neglect by providing information on the types of abuse, why it could happen and how to recognise symptoms in an abused child. It also hopes to empower the public to act on behalf of children by equipping them with protection solutions, parenting tips, action ideas and a directory of important resources. The Campaign will host a special “public” program on 20 November in conjunction with Universal Children’s Day and culminate on 10 December. Get on Board.

For more information, please contact:

Indra Kumari Nadchatram
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6012 292 6872,

Juana Jaafar
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel + 6012 530 9693,





Get on Board! Photo Contest

Get on Board. Stop Child Abuse Now!


Get on Board! website

  •  Media Centre

World Day Prevention of Child Abuse

Say No to Violence Against Children

Child Protection: Malaysia

Newsline: Get on Board

15 December 2010:
Collaborating to map out child abuse

15 December 2010:
If children could grow up without the fear of abuse

28 November 2010:
OP-ED: Duty of all to stop child abuse


UNICEF Malaysia Facebook

UNICEF Facebook Page

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