|Thousands of people have signed up as a Pelindung Anak, including Minister Yohana Yembise (second from left) and UNICEF Indonesia National Ambassador Ferry Salim (right). ©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Nick Baker|
Ministers, actors, psychologists and models were just some of the people who attended UNICEF Indonesia’s sign up event for its innovative new Pelindung Anak campaign.
The campaign aims to create a movement that raises awareness and fuels action to end violence against children.
Participants were encouraged to visit the campaign website (www.pelindunganak.org), where they could register to receive information on the extent of violence in Indonesia and commit to protect children in their area.
“Violence against children is the silent crisis of Indonesia. It will only stop if all of us come together and protect every child as if they are our own,” UNICEF Indonesia Representative Gunilla Olsson said. “If it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to protect a child.”
The list of committed Pelindung Anak now includes Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Yohana Yembise, UNICEF Indonesia National Ambassador Ferry Salim, and actress Raline Shah, among many others.
“Child abuse in Indonesia has been an emergency for quite a while now. However, it used to be considered a taboo subject and many people chose to ignore it,” said Ibu Yohana during the event.
"This campaign appeals to our sense of morality to treat all children as if they are our own children," said Ferry Salim, who has been UNICEF Indonesia’s Goodwill Ambassador for over ten years.
Ibu Gunilla added: “It’s time to make the invisible, visible. It’s time to act. It’s time to end violence against children. I am a Pelindung Anak and I am encouraging everybody to become one too.”
Some important points about violence against children in Indonesia:
• 40 percent of children aged 13-15 years report having been physically attacked at least once within a given year.
• 26 percent of children experience corporal punishment from parents or caretakers at home.
• 50 percent of children report being bullied at school.
• 45 percent of young Indonesian women and girls believe that a husband/partner is justified in hitting or beating their wife/partner under certain circumstances.
“The consequences of not addressing violence against children in Indonesia are severe. Child victims of physical, sexual and emotional violence often suffer from long-term consequences, including physical and psychological conditions,” Ibu Gunilla said.
All Indonesians are encouraged to visit the campaign website and become a Pelindung Anak: www.pelindunganak.org