By BBN Staff: Yesterday, UNICEF issued a press release informing the public that it is deeply saddened by the recent news of violence and the tragic deaths of children due to violence.
“As adults, it is our duty to do everything in our power to protect children and encourage them to grow and be the best that they can be. For too many children in Belize in the last few months, this has not happened and children have been tragically hurt and some have lost their lives due to gun violence, physical abuse, and sexual violence,” the release states.
Over the last year, there have been many similar stories of gun violence, physical and sexual abuse of children in Belize.
According to the Belize Police Department’s Joint Intelligence Coordinating Center, there were 55 reported cases of sexual crimes against children in 2017, nearly 250 shooting incidents and 142 murders.
UNICEF says that violence against children is unacceptable and implores every member of the community in Belize to stand with them to respect and protect children and their first and most basic human right – the right to life.
Life alone without quality and without basic rights to identity, family, shelter, nutrition, education, health and freedom will not do.
UNICEF calls on the entire community in Belize – families, teachers, community leaders – to join in advocating and working to transform our communities into the positive, nurturing spaces that they must be for our children in order for them to grow with the freedom to play, learn, imagine and innovate without fear of harm.
“We believe that we can change, we have a moral obligation to change and decisively end those things that hurt our children. UNICEF is committed to continue our partnership with actors and leaders across the country as we work towards this goal and we will continue to do this until this goal is achieved for every child,” the release ends.