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Buddy Day presented at UN Human Rights Council

Buddy Day presented at UN Human Rights Council

New Zealand child abuse awareness campaign Buddy Day received international recognition this week at a presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

World Women’s Summit Foundation (WWSF) presented a video on New Zealand’s annual child abuse prevention event Buddy Day to a panel of UN delegates from organisations including World Health Organisation (WHO) and Secretary General on Violence against Children.

The presentation was part of the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council as part of a wider discussion on government investment in the human rights of children and the prevention of child maltreatment for sustainable development. In addition to the panel, over 65 other UN and Government representatives were present at the annual forum.

Buddy Day, New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness campaign, revolves around life-size cardboard ‘Buddies’ being adopted by adults, taken into communities and workplaces, and used as a tool to generate conversations about the role every adult plays in ensuring the wellbeing of children. The event is delivered by child protection organisation Child Matters, and will celebrate its fifth successful year in November 2015.

Last year, Buddy Day was one of 134 organisations from 63 countries who participated in the WWSF-led campaign ‘19 Days of Activism for prevention of violence against children and youth.’ The New Zealand awareness campaign was one of a small number of international initiatives selected to illustrate how communities can be mobilised to prevent violence against children and youth. The presentation concluded with the applause of the panel.

In the video presented to the council, Child Matters’ founding CEO Anthea Simcock highlighted the significant impact Buddy Day has had on changing community behaviour and attitudes toward the wellbeing of children, and urged international leaders to invest in children today for a more sustainable society in the future.

“We must make an intervention early in the lives of children if we are going to make change for their futures, for our country’s future, and for the future of our society,” said Mrs. Simcock. “Adequate Government investment will help us mobilise this change if we invest early.”


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