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Feb 19, 2015

UNICEF Launches Timeout: Campaigns to End Violence Against Children

Using the common concept of TIME OUT, UNICEF today launched a campaign encouraging adults to stop and think before using violent methods against children. The idea is to prompt adults to choose alternative methods to communicate with children based on relationships, understanding, love and respect. The first in a series of videos centers on verbal violence. Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

UNICEF wants to you to take a time out and think before you use aggressive methods to discipline or communicate with children. In their newly launched video as a part of the national strategy to end violence against Children in Belize, it is hoped that adults will understand that violent actions must not be taught as the norm and used to influence children.  We must, instead, communicate using other forms that will encourage relationships to grow based on mutual understanding, respect and love. While this video is part of a bigger strategy, UNICEF Representative says it is a start towards raising awareness of violence against children.

 

Ivan Yerovi

Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF Representative

“The idea of UNICEF in bringing these pieces of communication, these videos, that we want the media to broadcast to make sure that the message gets to the families in Belize and the entire population about those situations that are affecting children. We know that it is not enough; that one video will not change the entire behavior regarding violence, but for us it is a start. We believe that if we have these videos that are talking about the issue, we may be able to reduce the amount of violence that are affecting children.”

 

To complement the communication tools, UNICEF is also engaging other partners of the private and public sectors. While the goal is to see a reduction in the number of cases of violence against children, UNICEF says to achieve that, everyone must be involved.

 

Ivan Yerovi

“The communication will support what we are presently doing, for instance with the Supreme Court we have the Chief Justice with us because we are doing important changes to the legislation for instance, and we are also making sure there are services in place for children. Currently, children that are in conflict with the law and children facing the perpetrators, that situation cannot be that way. We must have somewhere the children can go through the trial to make it child friendly and then we have the communication, very important. Finally, implementation of the law; there must be a way of sending a concrete way of sending a message to whoever is thinking of committing a crime against a child. It is a way of combination of things, that we have to definitely work together with the entire community to make sure the level of violence is being reduced; of course, behind the figures we have kids, but definitely later on we will see some figures that we are going to reduce some level of violence; that’s the main goal. It’s everybody’s business, not just UNICEF or the Ministry of Human Development or the Supreme Court. It’s everybody’s business and that is the main message.”

 

To include key partners and implement critical functions on a daily basis, UNICEF’s Child Protection Programme serves multiple roles.

 

Luwani Cayetano

Luwani Cayetano, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF

“We change legislation with some of our partners; we build awareness with some of our partners; we monitor and report on child abuse what’s happening with children within household level. We make sure that there are services, so like access to birth registration, education; access to health care and access to justice and those kinds of things within the Child Protection Programme.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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