MACEDONIA: Speak out against violence, urges new campaign

[SKOPJE, 5 March 2010] – A new campaign to raise awareness about violence against children and encourage victims to report abuse has been launched by The First Children’s Embassy in the World - Megjashi, Macedonia.

Violence against children can cause serious and enduring psychological harm and yet many children are reluctant to report abuse because of fear, low self-esteem and a lack of information about and confidence in the institutions charged with their care and protection.

The new campaign, “You should not be silent about the violence”, is based on data compiled by the SOS helpline for children and young people over several years. During this period, reports of violence and abuse against children - the majority of which were made by adult witnesses - have risen steadily.

The campaign, which is carried out in partnership with Akzent Media, aims to encourage children to report abuse to the SOS helpline free of charge on 0800 1 2222.

Calls are answered by trained volunteers with various backgrounds - psychologists, social workers, teachers, family counsellors and legal advisers. SOS works in cooperation with a free legal service.

The First Children’s Embassy in the World - Megjashi is organising the "First National Children’s Conference for Child Participation," as part of the project "Building a Culture of Child Participation," financed by the European Union, and UNICEF. The conference will take place on the 16 March 2010. For more information, go here.

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