Following the United Nations’ study on Violence against Children, Plan and Save the Children Sweden are launching their new internet site about the different forms of violence suffered by children : physical, psychological and sexual violence, abandonment or neglect, abuse or exploitation etc.
It gives children and teenagers information on a major social problem, through entertaining supports : cartoons, comic strips, videos, songs and children’s oral testimonies as well as documents and articles. There is also a blog for them to have their say on this subject.
Violence against children is not just a global problem, but a hidden problem which children are often afraid to speak about because of the shame they feel or even the possible repercussions on them or those close to them. Violence towards children is a violation of their rights, which has long term devastating consequences. It is cruel and wrong, but it is mostly predictable and preventable. It is urgent then that action is taken, in order to create an environment free of violence against children, in which they can enjoy their rights, grow up, develop and find their way as adults safely and healthily. This is why Plan, in partnership with Save the Children Sweden, has launched this new internet site today, as part of its commitment in West Africa to protect children from all forms of violence. It is part of the same process as the campaign "Learning without Fear" which began last October against violence in schools.
This launch coincides with the nomination of a Special United Nations Representative on Violence against Children. Marta Santos Pais, executive director of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, was chosen to take up this post, whose creation had been strongly recommended in the conclusions of the United Nations’ report on violence towards children in 2006. The post of Special Representative is financed by voluntary contributions by member states, and Madame Santos Pais will begin her work as soon as the necessary funding is in place.
Plan has also just published a new study called "Silent suffering" which deals with the psychosocial impact of armed conflict, HIV and other high-risk situations for children in West and Central Africa. It was carried out in conjunction with Family Health International in five countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Togo) affected by civil war, ethnic cleansing, child trafficking and the AIDS pandemic.