The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has called for collective efforts in protecting children from violence.
UNICEF joined the rest of the world Sunday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, issuing a call to protect children from violence.
In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said that a strong partnership between governments, religious denominations and parents was needed to address the challenge of violence against children across the globe.
“To end such violence, we need to work together – across religious faiths, political parties and all boundaries – to raise awareness and reach out to our communities in order to strengthen systems that protect children,” he added.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Executive Secretary for the National Commission for Children (NCC), Zaina Nyiramatama, asserted that protecting children from violence was everyone’s responsibility.
“We have put in place policies and programmes to ensure that violence against children ends,” she stated.
“Parental influence and protection play a critical role in determining a child’s well-being and can be done without resorting to violent discipline, which harms the child and is not effective”.
Nyiramatama mentioned that creation of Children’s Clubs, Parents Support Groups and Child Protection Committees, will also contribute to the protection of children from violence.
While significant progress has been made in reducing child mortality and increasing child health, millions of children around the world are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse.
In Rwanda, although no numbers exist on the extent of children affected by abuse, statistics from police reveal that 65 percent of registered survivors of violence are girls under the age of 18.
To tackle the problem, the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion recently organised a national conference and campaign to end violence against children.
The World Day of Prayer and Action was launched in 2008 to improve the lives of children everywhere. In 2010, it was celebrated in 46 countries around the world.