The G.I. Joe connection here may be tenuous, but the message is a good one. Unicef UK reached out to me to help spread the word about their new “Violence Vaccine” initiative, and a video they produced to get the word out about it, and if an organization like Unicef asks me to share something, I’m going to try and do it.
At one point in the short film, a child poses his G.I. Joe figure as a method of defense against potential violence, which impacts children across the world far more than any of us would like to believe or realize. Please check out the video below and the Press Release to go along with it.
Check out the Press Release below.
Unicef UK releases film showing how children are facing an epidemic of violence
Violence kills one child every five minutes, warns Unicef UK
Unicef UK has today (Tuesday 21st October) released a powerful 90 second film that tells how children are facing an epidemic of violence. Issued to mark the launch of Unicef UK’s new Children in Danger campaign, the film asks the viewer to imagine what it would be like if there was a ‘violence vaccine’ that could protect children and ensure they were safe.
Titled A Vaccine for Violence the film focuses on one young victim of gang violence who is seen visiting a chemist in the hope he will be given something that will protect him. The film, ends with the message ‘There is no vaccine…there is only you. Act now to help end violence against children.’
The release of the film coincides with the publication of a new report from Unicef UK that reveals that every five minutes a child around the world dies as the result of violence.
In its report “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence against Children” – the organisation outlines that globally some 345 children under the age of 20 could die from violence each day in the next year, unless governments act.
The report also reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.
- children who are victims of violence have brain activity similar to soldiers exposed to combat
- a third of children who are victims of violence are likely to develop long-lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- those living in poverty are more likely to be victims of violence, wherever they live in the world.
- over 75 percent of child deaths due to violence each day are the result of interpersonal violence, rather than conflict
- a girl or boy aged between 0-19 dies as a result of violence every five minutes
Aaron, an 11 year old boy from El Salvador, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for children, said: “When I was nine years old and was in third grade, a gang member called my mother. They threatened her with killing me and my twin brother if she didn’t send them money. They told her that they had us so our parents took us out of school and we had to go and stay with a friend of our fathers. We felt very distressed. We were afraid of something happening to us, of being robbed or kidnapped. We’re scared.”
Governments are currently negotiating a new set of global development targets, as the current Millennium Development Goals will expire in 2015. Unless there is concerted action to make ending violence against children a global priority, Unicef UK fears this violence could undo gains made in health and education. Unicef UK is calling for a target to end violence, exploitation and abuse of children to be included in the world’s new development agenda.
The organisation is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to champion this new global target, building on the UK government’s vital work to prevent early marriage and FGM and tackle sexual violence in conflict.
David Bull, Executive Director of Unicef UK, said:
“We live in a world where some children are too scared to walk out of their own front doors or play on their streets. We want children living in fear to have a chance of feeling safe and secure. A global target would galvanise action to make the world safer for children. We know from Unicef’s work on the ground that violence can be prevented and survivors supported to rebuild their lives – but this work needs to be rolled out on a wider scale. Each day we delay more children will be exposed to the corrosive impact of violence.”
Unicef UK’s Children in Danger campaign seeks to protect children from violence, disease, hunger and the chaos of war and disaster.The public can support UNICEF UK’s call for a new global target to end violence against children by visiting unicef.org.uk/danger.