Violence against girls and boys in Europe and Central Asia


25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Say NO – UNiTE

Elena Gaia is a Policy Analysis Specialist for Social and Economic Policy, based at the UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS.

A girl howls with laughter while playing with a makeshift toy

A girl howls with laughter while playing with a makeshift toy made from a discarded box in Bitola, FYRoM Feb. 10, 2011. (UNICEF/John McConnico)

I belong to a fortunate majority. That of women who have never experienced physical or sexual violence before the age of 15. It could have gone dramatically different. Out of three women in the region where I was born, at least one has experienced physical or sexual violence in her childhood.

The data I am referring to were published earlier this year by the European Union, covering its 28 member countries.

Data comparable to the above is unfortunately not available for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the region where I am working with UNICEF. However, among the available information, there is some promising news. UNICEF’s global report Hidden in Plain Sight indicates that, in countries with available data, the rate of adolescent girls aged 15-19 reporting any physical violence (non-fatal) since age 15 ranged from 4 per cent in Kazakhstan to 14 per cent in Moldova. The numbers are lower than in other regions of the world.

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How does a ball help change the lives of children?

©Just Play/2012

©Just Play/2012

By Melissa Palombi, Sport for Development Consultant working with UNICEF Pacific.

It all starts with a ball. But when you add an inspiring coach and a safe place to play, the power of sport takes root. Children are naturally drawn to sport, recreation and play, which are a vital part of childhood.

Not only are they a vital part of helping children to grow, learn and explore, they are every child’s right. As outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary on November 20th, 2014, every child has the right to leisure, recreation and cultural activities.

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Why is it important for all children to play?


To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Convention on the Rights of the Child we asked students from Eastern Hutt School why sport and play are important.

They responded with colourful artwork and expressive messages. See them below:


Clockwise from top left: Avneet Kaur, 7 - “I like playing tennis because I like going outside.”

Thomas Davis, 7 - “I like tennis because it is fun and I play Christine my next door neighbour and it’s not too hard.”

Zarija Lala, 6 - I love hockey because I always get every single goal and I play in a super team.

Sriraj, 6 - “I like playing Lego with my dad because it’s giant and fun.”

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Stories from the field: Typhoon Haiyan response project


By Hamish Lindsay, UNICEF New Zealand Programme Manager

Wandering around Tacloban, one of the areas worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) last November, there are not that many signs left of the severity of the typhoon, the biggest storm ever to hit land, until you come across the boats at Anibong. They loom up out of nowhere, huge, immobile and landlocked, one has its bough right at the roadside, as if sailing inland it was stopped by the tar sealed road. This really brings home the sheer force of the typhoon and the storm surge, more like a 5m tsunami, which brought these large boats inland and caused mass devastation in the coastal areas. I just stand and stare at the boats for a while.

Boat at Anibong Tacloban Boat at the road in Anibong Tacloban

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Youth Ambassador spotlight: 10 reasons to become a UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassador



Are you an amazing young leader who is passionate about the rights of children and wants to take action to improve the lives of children around the world?

The Youth Ambassadors’ role is to inform young people about children’s rights, empower others to take action for children, and run their own events in support of UNICEF’s campaigns and projects. During 2015 – 2016, Ambassadors will work together and as individuals, with UNICEF NZ staff to:

  • Write guest blogs
  • Contribute to the UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassadors Facebook page
  • Give presentations in schools and to other groups
  • Appear in media
  • Support our campaigns and projects
  • Run their own activities


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