UNICEF Australia young ambassador Hussein Al Asedy wants the community to unite and support children against violence.
The Morley resident released a letter to raise awareness of violence against children around the world, including Australia, as part of UNICEF’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Developed by UNICEF young ambassadors, the 17 SDG were presented to the United Nations last month in place of the eight Millennium Development Goals that expired this year.
Hussein said the SDG were more applicable to all the countries as they looked at long-term progress and improving on the MDG.
“Every five minutes a child dies as a result of violence,” he said. “We cannot wait any longer to act. Around 120 million girls under the age of 20 worldwide (about one in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts.”
Hussein said in 2012, 95,000 children and adolescents aged up to 19 were killed, about one in five of all homicide victims that year.
“Almost one quarter of girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide – almost 70 million – report being victims of violence since age 15,” he said.
“Around six in 10 children aged two to 14 worldwide – almost a billion – are regularly punished physically by their caregivers.”
As part of the UNICEF campaign, 18 child survivors of violence wrote letters to world leaders calling on them to end the widespread abuse that affected millions of children.
Hussein encouraged people to read their stories at www.unicef.org.au/blog/september-2015/youth-letter-to-end-violence and donate to help support other children like them.