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Press centre

Joint statement

UN in India condemns the gang rape of a student in New Delhi

There is no higher priority in the new year than addressing violence against women and girls

NEW DELHI, 31 December 2012 – The UN Resident Coordinator in India and the UNICEF Representative issued the following statement today.

“The UN in India is deeply moved and saddened by the gang rape and death of the 23-year-old student in New Delhi.

“We are extremely concerned about the number of rape cases throughout India and the widespread pattern of violence against women,” said Ms. Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator in India.

“It is alarming that too many of these cases are children. One in three rape victims is a child. More than 7,200 children, including infants are raped every year. Given the stigma attached to rapes, especially when it comes to children, this most likely is only the tip of the ice berg,” said Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to India.
“The steps being taken by the Government of India to strengthen safety measures for women and girls are welcome and urgent. In the months ahead, it will be equally important that authorities and civil society work together to address the underlying causes of violence against women and girls,” said Ms. Grande and Mr. Arsenault.

“The mind-set towards the girl child and women needs to change. India is growing and advancing rapidly but it is deeply worrying that many women have little say in their homes and communities and are viewed as liabilities. Girls and women need to be valued, respected and feel safe, not only within the confines of their homes but also in public spaces,” said Ms. Grande and Mr. Arsenault.

“The UN stands ready to provide support to the Government and civil society to address violence against women. As we enter the new year of 2013, there is no higher priority.”

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UNICEF works in 190 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 more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:
Caroline den Dulk, Chief, Advocacy & Partnerships, UNICEF India. Mobile: +91-98-1810-6093, cdendulk@unicef.org




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