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UNICEF urges end of violence against children

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August 3, 2013 (JUBA) - The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has launched a global call for all forms of violence against children.

The call, under the initiative, “End Violence against Children,” was last week unveiled by actor Liam Neeson, also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

The new initiative, UNICEF said in a statement, builds on the growing public outrage following gross attacks against children in recent months.

“In every country, in every culture, there is violence against children,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake.

“Whenever and wherever children are harmed, our outrage and anger must be seen and heard. We must make the invisible visible,” he added.

In his presentation, Neeson leads the viewer through a series of scenes depicting invisible violence.

“Just because you can’t see violence against children doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” he says.

According to UNICEF, children in South Sudan are continuously exposed to harmful social and cultural practices, such as child marriage, child abduction, and child labor, among others.

“When children are exposed to violence, not only are they left with physical wounds but also mental scars. This affects their physical and mental health, compromises their ability to learn and socialize and undermines their development,” said UNICEF’s Representative, Dr Yasmin Ali Haque.

“It is therefore our collective responsibility to recognize violence against children, join global, national or local movements to end it and bring together new ideas to focus collective action on ending it,” she added.

Meanwhile, the initiative to end violence against children, seeks to mobilize people around the world to recognize the practice and join global, national or local movements to end it.

(ST)

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