Information and Communication Technologies to Prevent Sexual Abuse

150 adolescents from Somoto, Bluefields and Bilwi are learning about sexual abuse and how to prevent it by using communication and social media.


Bluefields/Managua.– 46 adolescents, 28 girls and 18 boys of Bluefields, South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), have been trained about the prevention of sexual abuse using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) from the 4th to the 6th February 2014 with the support of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).


Every child has the right to live free from violence, and violence against children and adolescents can be prevented” explained Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Nicaragua. He added that Information and Communication Technologies, mobile phones and social networks are excellent tools to diffuse information on this matter, and therefore to prevent it.


“What we miss as children is affection” commented Luis, 11 years old, after reflecting with the workshop group on the various situations of violence children and adolescents may be exposed to.


Ruth, 15 years old and 5th year student in secondary school, said that knowing how to prevent sexual abuse is fundamental, as well as knowing how to use the ICT. “It will be really useful for me, now I can speak on this subject”.


This is the beginning” said Benita, 16 years old, 5th year student in secondary school, and participant to the Bluefields workshop. “I have a friend who passed through this situation of sexual abuse, now I can talk to her without hurting her”.


Participation and empowerment strategy


These first workshops realized in Bluefields and Somoto were part of a series of 5 trainings of 3 days each. During these workshops, girls, boys and adolescents learn digital and audio-visual communication techniques to prevent violence, emphasizing on sexual abuse.


“Your participation in this workshop helps them to know what is happening and what to do” said Wilfredo Jarquín, Government Minister Delegate in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), during the first training inauguration in Bluefields.


The programme aims at preventing sexual abuse of children and adolescents by using ICT in the municipalities of Somoto, Bluefields and Bilwi. Its strategy relies on children and adolescents’ participation and empowerment.


“I have learnt lots of things that I did not known before like the various children’s rights” said Britney, 13 years old and currently in 1st year of secondary school. “Sexual abuse happens in Bluefields” she added. “I have learnt how to recognize sexual abuse” expressed Jefferson, 14 years old and also in 1st year of secondary school. “I will avoid speaking with strange persons and I will share what I have learnt with my friends”.


The workshops were facilitated by the Communication and Social Mobilisation Association “Los Cumiches” in collaboration with UNICEF. They are part of a process to strengthen local alliances about children and adolescents’ rights, in which adults and institutions have the main responsibility to accompany children and adolescents exposed to sexual abuse and defend their rights.


ENDViolence


The programme belongs to UNICEF’s global initiative #ENDViolence, which started in 2013. It calls to recognize publically violence issues that concern children, and encourages active support to local movements that tackle this pressing issue worldwide.


They are efficient methods to prevent and fight violence against children: support mothers, fathers, families and the other persons who take care of the children; strengthen children’s aptitudes to protect themselves against violence; work explicitly to change attitudes and social norms that tolerate violence and discrimination; strengthen and enforce laws and policies that protect children.


The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), article 19, establish that “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child”.


About UNICEF


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 more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org


For more information, please contact: Marta García Terán, UNICEF Nicaragua Communication Assistant, mgarciateran@unicef.org

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