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Breaking the silence around family violence in the Indian Ocean Region

Delegates from Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and La Reunion gather to share concerns

MADAGASCAR, Monday, April 25, 2005: In the lead up to regional and global consultations on violence against children, delegates from Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and La Reunion, gathered for a three day meeting in Antananarivo to discuss the situation affecting children in their region as well as ways to tackle the problem.

Recommendations from this sub-regional consultation will feed into the global study on violence against children, which was mandated by the UN Secretary General in 2001 for completion in 2006. In addition to exploring the forms, causes and impacts of violence affecting children and young people, the study will also review legal and institutional responses in the battle against violence.

Although sparsely documented, violence in the family exists throughout the Indian Ocean Region. A study in Madagascar’s capital in 1998, found that one in five children was the victim of domestic violence.

“We are here to make a difference in the lives of children.” Said UNICEF’s Officer in Charge, Bashige Bashizi. “UNICEF is delighted to have gathered together so many distinguished personalities from the region and we are confidant that our discussions during the next three days will cover ground in an area that merits our attention,” he added.

This consultation is one of the first of a series of joint initiatives launched by UNICEF, the University of Mauritius and the Indian Ocean Observatory for Child Rights. The later was created last year to monitor the situation of children in the region.

Delegates at the consultation include national authorities, judges, doctors, social workers and representatives of civil society involved in the fight against violence.

For more information, please contact:

Misbah M. Sheikh, UNICEF Madagascar, Off :  261-20 22 626 45/46, Cell :  261-33 11 892 83, msheikh@unicef.org





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