New film featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham highlights urgent need to end violence against children

5th December 2016

NEW YORK, 5 December 2016 – A powerful new film featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham was released today to illustrate the brutal reality that physical and psychological abuse can mark children forever.

During the new 60-second UNICEF film, scenes of violence against children appear as animated tattoos on David Beckham’s body. While Beckham’s own tattoos were marks chosen to represent happy or important memories, millions of children bear marks they have not chosen: the long-lasting scars of violence and abuse. The animations in the film depict all too common forms of violence that boys and girls endure in spaces where they should be safe – their homes, schools, online and in their communities.

Beckham said: “When I launched my 7 Fund with UNICEF, I made a commitment to do everything I can to make the world a safer place for children and to speak out on issues that are having a devastating impact on children’s lives. One of those issues is violence. Every five minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies from violence. Millions more are in danger of physical, emotional and sexual abuse that could destroy their childhoods forever.

Last year I visited Cambodia with UNICEF where I met and listened to children tell me about terrible violence they have experienced. I was shocked by what I heard and I saw how violence can leave deep and lasting scars. No child should have to endure this. Yet in all corners of the world, in their homes, schools and on their streets, children are suffering similar violence. I hope this new project will draw attention to this urgent issue and inspire action. Violence against children is wrong and together we need to end it.”

The tragic consequences of violence affect all aspects of a child’s life and can be passed down from one generation to the next. Violence against children carries serious costs to all societies in every region of the world.

“Violence and abuse take a terrible toll on children’s lives and futures — harming their bodies, undermining their emotional wellbeing, even interfering with the healthy development of their brains,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.  “When we protect children from violence, we prevent individual tragedies — and promote stronger, more stable societies.  Thanks to powerful advocates like David Beckham, and fueled by the voices of children and young people themselves, we are building momentum for ending violence against children everywhere.”

Violence is not inevitable. UNICEF points to seven proven strategies that can help end violence against children. These include strengthening attitudes that support non-violence; enforcing laws; creating safe environments for children; supporting parents and caregivers; increasing family incomes to reduce poverty; strengthening social services and equipping children with life-skills.

David Beckham and UNICEF are urging people to share the new film on social media platforms.

After 10 years as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund in February 2015, making a commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable children. Later that year, Beckham visited Cambodia where he met children who had suffered violence and abuse. Moved by the stories he heard, Beckham subsequently attended the United Nations and called on world leaders to put children, especially the most disadvantaged, at the centre of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

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Access UNICEF’s new film featuring David Beckham here: https://youtu.be/XwMITfK8vhc

Other broadcast quality assets can be accessed here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIF0QPZN

Note to Editor
Latest available statistics shows staggering levels of violence against children:

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF has been operating for 70 years.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit https://www.unicef.ie/

For more information, please contact:

Aedín Donnelly, Communications and Media Manager for UNICEF Ireland | aedin@unicef.ie Tel: +353 1 809 0281 | Mob: +353 85 1395272

Melanie Sharpe, UNICEF New York +1 917-251-7670, msharpe@unicef.org

Jess Ord, UNICEF UK +44 207 375 6237, jesso@unicef.org.uk

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