Managua.- The municipal anti-trafficking roundtables in Bilwi (RAAN), Bluefields (RAAS) and Somoto (Madriz) have formally been informed of the strategy being implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in these municipalities, through which 126 male and female adolescents are being trained in the prevention of sexual abuse through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
“When we talk about the internet, cell phones and social networks,” explained Philippe Barragne-Bigot, the UNICEF representative in Nicaragua, “we tend to spread negative messages. But through the dissemination of good practices in their use, shared information and the prevention of violence both online and offline we can turn these tools into something positive, so that children and adolescents can use them for compliance with their human rights.”
Meetings with the municipal anti-trafficking roundtables corresponding to the three municipalities prioritized by the programme have informed about the problem of sexual abuse, the approach being implemented with the adolescents, and different data collected through the intervention with the boys and girls.
“They are all links in the same chain,” said Marvin Sánchez, a government delegate in Bilwi. “A case of sexual abuse can end up in human trafficking.”
In the meeting in Bluefields it was commented that the Police Station for Women and Children is responsible for working in relation to human trafficking and all crimes connected, taking into account all of the penal crimes involved. The work with the three groups of adolescent communicators in Bilwi, Somoto and Bluefields employs a similarly broad approach, taking various angles and perspectives into account.
The institutions and organizations participating in the municipal anti-trafficking roundtables include, among others: the Ministry of the Family, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Government, the Ministry of Education, the National Police, the judicial branch, CEDEHCA, Acción Médica Cristiana, and the Regional Governments of the North and South Atlantic Autonomous Regions (RAAN and RAAS).
In addition, the Telefonica Foundation Room and its 15 computers in Bilwi’s “Julio Bucardo” School are also available to the 40 girls and boys receiving the network training sessions in Bilwi. This will allow them access to the internet and computers to write up and disseminate the communication materials they produce.
The five workshops given in each municipality by the “Los Cumiches” Social Communication and Mobilization Association in collaboration with UNICEF are part of a process to generate a movement for the creation and strengthening of alliances around the rights of children and adolescents. In this respect, the main responsibility of the adults and institutions is to accompany the adolescents and respond to their demands.
The strategy of a Network of Adolescent Communicators for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse through ICTs is part of the UNICEF #ENDViolence global initiative for the elimination of violence against children, which started in 2013. This initiative calls for the public recognition of the problem of violence against children and encourages support for local movements to address this problem, which is so pressing throughout the world.
In 2014 we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the 35th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The CRC guarantees each child and adolescent the right to express his or her views and to be heard (article 12); freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information (article13); freedom of association and assembly (article 15); and the right to information (article 17), among others.
In addition to the prevention of violence and sexual abuse, the Network of Adolescent Communicators is promoting reflection among girls and boys on gender roles and power relations based on their own experiences, thus complying with articles 10 (c) and 14.2 (d) of CEDAW. Article 10 (c) calls for “The elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve this aim”; while article 14.2 (d) promotes the right of women and girls “To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to functional literacy”.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For further information, please contact:
Marta García Terán, Communication Assistant. UNICEF Nicaragua