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Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse

Global anti-violence initiative off to a successful start

The End Violence Against Children initiative is spearheaded by a powerful public service announcement featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson.


By Chris Niles

UNICEF launched the End Violence Against Children initiative on 31 July – led by a powerful public service announcement recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson. The initiative has ignited imagination throughout the world.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 2 August 2013 – UNICEF’s latest initiative to end violence against children has ignited imagination throughout the world.

The End Violence Against Children initiative was launched on 31 July. It is spearheaded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson, who recorded a public service announcement (PSA) urging people to speak up against violence when they see it.

The initiative, which is being driven by an extensive social media campaign under the hashtag #ENDviolence, has been covered by leading media outlets across the world and has reached millions of people. The PSA was featured on E! online, which has more than 6.9 million monthly visitors. It was covered in the Associated Press, the Miami Herald, ABC News, the Huffington Post and the International Herald Tribune, among others.

See some of the coverage on Storify

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Angelique Kidjo, Lang Lang, Mia Farrow and Roger Moore supported the initiative through their social media platforms, as did UNICEF National Ambassador and actor Alyssa Milano.

It is also supported by best-selling author and UNICEF’s first Advocate for Children Affected by War Ishmael Beah.

In all, there were 10,416 mentions of the #ENDviolence hashtag. There were more than 2,500 retweets. More than 40 UNICEF offices and more than 15 United Nations agencies and partners posted on Facebook.

Several countries have tailored the message to have the widest possible appeal.

In India, the PSA was re-voiced by prominent Bollywood actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan.

In the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the PSA was re-voiced by Ani Choying Drolma, a popular Buddhist nun.

Television network Univision used several of their on-air announcers to translate into Spanish.

The initiative has been widely supported by UNICEF National Committees such as those of Canada, Ireland and Italy. In all, 142 countries participated in the initial push.

The PSA is being broadcast in 46 African countries through DSTV/Multi choice, the largest cable operator on the continent. The United Nations featured it on the home pages of all six of the United Nations official language websites at www.un.org.

Since the launch, the PSA has been viewed more than 10,000 times on UNICEF’s YouTube channels and has more than 5,000 views on UNICEF’s channel on the AOL video platform.

The initiative’s overarching goal is to change the attitudes of those who think violence against children in any form is permissible.

“What’s different is that we see it as something multi-year, not simply a one-off. No, UNICEF is here to stay on this,” said UNICEF Chief of Child Protection Susan Bissell. “We’ve already had some very positive feedback from governments around the world, welcoming the communication initiative, saying they, too, want to work on End Violence.”



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