On the occasion of World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, following the Lebanese economic and health crises, and the Beirut Port explosion which had severe psychological and social consequences on both parents and children, himaya, in partnership with UNICEF, and with funding from the Danish government, is launching an awareness campaign urging every citizen, based on his or her social responsibility, to report cases of child abuse to the authorities or concerned NGOs.
The campaign promotes the need to break the barrier of fear and report situations of abuse through himaya’s hotline; the campaign will be promoted through social media and national television.
Today, Lebanon is witnessing an increase of child abuse cases, and it is our responsibility as individuals, whatever our position is, to be a role model, a “Qudwa”, and lead by example in reporting these cases.
Commenting on the importance of this campaign, and the effective role of reporting cases of child abuse, himaya’s Executive Director Lama Yazbeck stated: “Our fear as an NGO is that people, with everything happening currently in the country, will not consider child protection as a priority. They will focus on food, education, medical needs, etc… They need to understand that the safety of the child is as important as education, access to food, and medical needs. A child should have access to all his needs and protection is a key element for his growth into a healthy adult. Even with the current situation we are living in, protecting a child is always possible, but people have to speak up and report.”
“Stopping violence against children is everyone’s responsibility”, said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Lebanon Representative. “The community plays a major role in preventing violence against children. This role includes helping to change beliefs in adopting new behaviors positive discipline like informing civil society to intervene in cases of violence or reporting to the judiciary”.
The campaign includes weekly episodes broadcasted live on social media every Wednesday at 7:00 P.M, during which specialists from the NGO along with social media influencers will discuss different topics and answer live questions from viewers and followers. The first episode is set to launch on the 18th of November. Shedding light on the different forms of child abuse underlines the scale of the responsibility that everyone has to report these cases, and not ignore them.
The campaign will be completed through a “pledge” reflecting the commitment of every citizen as responsible individuals within the society. The “pledge” is a social media sticker that will be used by influencers to reiterate their promise to defend children’s rights and protect them from any form of abuse; and thus, urging others to do the same, and be a “Qudwa” within their communities.