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News note

2009 Caribbean Games to shine spotlight on Violence against children

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD, TOBAGO, 11 January 2008 – UNICEF has teamed up with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2009 Caribbean Games to highlight the impact of violence against children throughout the Caribbean.

The LOC and Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) will join hands with UNICEF offices throughout the Caribbean to promote awareness and advocate for the end of violence against children. The first ever 2009 Caribbean Games will be held from 13 to 19 July 2009, with sporting events that include swimming and water polo, track and field, boxing, netball and volleyball.

His Excellency, Professor George Maxwell Richards, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, stated that:  “The CANOC brings us onto a new threshold.”  His Excellency also spoke of the role that ordinary men and women can play in shaping Caribbean history while highlighting the importance of keeping a vision of unity for the betterment of sports and sporting excellence in the Caribbean.

The UNICEF, LOC and CANOC partnership for the 2009 Caribbean Games will facilitate strategic programming, help raise awareness to improving the quality of lives of all children, including vulnerable children and those at risk in communities throughout the region as well as promote child-friendly environments.

The public, especially young people aged 10 to 24 will become more aware of the impact of abuse and be better informed about how to protect themselves from such abuse.

In support of the partnership, Mr. Felipe Noguera, Chief Executive Officer, 2009 Caribbean Games stated: “We are very pleased to be partnering with UNICEF which has long established itself as a defender of children’s rights.  Like UNICEF the 2009 Caribbean Games places a great priority on the rights and issues of children with the promotion of healthy lifestyles, to sportsmanship, to team spirit and fair play. We hope that the promotion of these games will be able to encourage environmental awareness, a sense of pride, cooperation and dignity among all people in the Caribbean and in particular the youth.” 

Violence in the Caribbean has a negative impact on the lives of children and young people at home, in their communities and in institutions.

The UN Study on Violence against Children in the Caribbean Region (2006) indicates that the effects of violence are both long and short term. Youth violence affects not only the victims, but also their families, friends and communities at times resulting in death or injury, negative psychological outcomes, poorer quality of life, reduced productivity and generally disrupted societies.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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.

For further information, please contact:
Eva-Lotta Schiermeyer, UNICEF TACRO, Tel  (+507) 301 7430, Email - elotta@unicef.org




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