AKIPRESS.COM - UNICEF today cautioned against tolerating violence against children and women and called for a change in the societies’ attitudes towards these kinds of cases and emphasized the need for improved family support services and effective systems to protect victims of violence.
Following circulating multiple social media videos showing violence against women and children in Uzbekistan, UNICEF has expressed concerns about such incidences which seem commonplace: some incidents, including cases involving infants, occur in public and in the presence of onlookers.
“Women and children, especially girls, suffer violence every day, unfortunately, this is viewed as acceptable, normal, permissible and a ‘family matter’. Cases of violence can be prevented,” said Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF representative in Uzbekistan. "Everyone has a role to play in ending violence; It is necessary to change people's attitudes towards violence, to stop impunity, to promote norms and positive practices and to provide qualified assistance to victims."
Globally, one in four children faces violence, while every five minutes a child dies because of its different forms. Early detection of cases, setting up hotlines to referral services and school activities are proven effective interventions that help fight violence. A referral system is an important entry point for the child protection system strengthening and should set out clearly defined roles and responsibilities of specialists in education, health, social protection, and justice sectors to prevent, identify and respond to violence against children.
Currently, in Uzbekistan, UNICEF is supporting government efforts to prevent and respond to violence. For instance, as a result of the joint work of UNICEF and the Ministry of Health 50 000 patronage nurses across the country have been equipped with skills and materials for home visits, which among other activities support parenting and identifying victims of neglect and physical violence.
UNICEF is also cooperating with the new Child Protection Sector of the Secretariat on Education and Health Issues under the Cabinet of Ministers, National Commission on Children’s issues, and Child Ombudsperson on establishing standard operating procedures to identify and respond to violence against children Further, UNICEF is supporting the country to roll-out a case management system, that enables a holistic picture of family needs, identifying the risks and linking families with other services to provide comprehensive support to the family.
In addition to all the measures taken, it is necessary to create an institution of social workers and mobilize the entire society for a systematic solution to this problem.