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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador highlights issue of children on margins of society

Lahore/Islamabad, 17 June 2011 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and one of Germany’s most prominent TV personalities, Sabine Christiansen, met with street children and a women’s group in Lahore today to raise awareness about the plight of some of Pakistan’s most disadvantaged children.

Accompanied by UNICEF Representative, Dan Rohrmann, Ms Christiansen visited a UNICEF-supported child protection centre in Pind Khokhar.

The centre is one of four that will see 4,500 children protected from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Children are also helped with access to essential services such as basic health and hygiene, education, psych-social support, and vocational skills training.

“It is a privilege to be able to visit the centre and see for myself the practical work UNICEF and partners are doing to strengthen children’s rights and improve the lives of disadvantaged boys and girls,” says Ms Christiansen, who has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in Germany for the past 14 years.

“The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are often forgotten and it is important for all of us to accelerate action for children which will change their lives forever. Reaching deprived children through a child protection centre is an extremely important step in fulfilling their rights.”

In her role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Christiansen plays an active part in raising global awareness about the rights of children and women. She has visited UNICEF programs in many countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Haiti. Her TV programmes are watched by millions of viewers.

Mr Rohrmann says that UNICEF is committed to working with the Pakistani federal and provincial governments and other partners to protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as expanding their opportunities to reach their full potential.

“Our work is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out the rights of children to be protected. The visit by Ms Christiansen draws much needed attention to the issues related to the protection of children, especially for the most excluded and marginalized children in Pakistan.”



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