In 2015 the world leaders made a decision to establish “End violence against children” global partnership and to eliminate all forms of violence against children by 2030 with the goal of making the following vision a reality: “a world where all children – girls and boys, grow up in an environment free from violence and exploitation”.
Violence against children has an adverse effect on the child’s development, health and education. At the same time, it slows down economic development, causes damage to the human and social capital of a country.
Aimed at contributing to prevention and elimination of violence against children and comprehensive rehabilitation of a child exposed to violence in the Republic of Armenia, in February of 2017 World Vision Armenia, UN Children’s Fund Armenia, Save the Children International Armenia Country Office, SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, Children of Armenia Fund, Civil Society Institute, Child Protection Network, Family and Community NGO, Children’s Support Center of Fund for Armenian Relief, Staff of Human Rights Defender united their efforts to implement “Share Love, not Violence” five-year public campaign to combat violence against children which is the Armenian initiative of the global campaign of the same content.
The Goal of the Public Campaign is:
To promote prevention and elimination of violence against children and comprehensive rehabilitation of children exposed to violence in the Republic of Armenia.
Objectives of the Public Campaign are:
● To prevent and reduce physical and psychological abuse applied against children in Armenia,
● To reform the legislation, in particular circulating draft law “On domestic violence” and related legal acts, draft Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code,
● To promote effective operation of the system and policy targeted at elimination of child abuse,
● To improve social practices and norms,
● To promote comprehensive rehabilitation of a child exposed to violence,
● To promote creation of a favorable environment in the family, general education institutions and society for full and harmonious development of children,
● To enshrine child protection issues as a priority on the agenda of major donors.
For the purpose of implementing those objectives the toolkit of the Campaign will include the following:
● Collection and presentation of cases of violence to the public with the purpose of informing about the consequences of violence and forming intolerance among the public towards the phenomenon of violence;
● Dissemination of examples of positive parenting and healthy relations in the family among the public following the example of prominent Armenians and historical traditions, as well as influential people living around us at present;
● Development and popularization of a module on positive parenting;
● Incorporation of knowledge, capacities and skills on positive discipline in the curricula of current and future educators,
● Introduction of an educational material on conflict management in general education programs;
● Improvement of legislation and mechanisms related to violence against children, particularly fixing the child as a legal subject in the draft Law “On Domestic Violence”, fixing mechanisms under law for the protection of those exposed to violence, review of envisaged punitive measures, fixing mandatory rehabilitation services, etc;
● Engagement of the Church in combating violence against children;
● Presentation of the situation to major donors based on facts with the purpose of directing their attention and resources to the gaps existing in the child protection system.
Participation of children is one of the main principles of implementation of the Public Campaign. It is envisaged to ensure active participation of children during the entire course of the Public Campaign. The Civic Action Group took care that children are involved also in pre-launch events of the Campaign. Meanwhile, members of the Civic Action Group are obliged to [refrain from] such forms of child participation in the Campaign which can have traumatic effects on them and a negative impact on their mental state. Children are both beneficiaries and target group, as well as participants and prompters of solutions of the Campaign. The main purpose of ensuring children’s participation is to make the children’s voice heard, as well as to plan activities taking the children’s opinion into consideration and to implement them with their direct participation.