The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) launched this week the first of its kind multimedia campaign on positive parenting “Awladna” (meaning Our Children), in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The campaign is supported by the European Union (EU) in the context of the joint programme titled ‘Expanding Access to Education and Protection for at Risk Children in Egypt”. ”Awladna” campaign comes as part of a holistic approach to support development of policies on protecting children from violence, and to raise public awareness on the issue of positive parenting especially targeting parents, caregivers and parents-to-be.
Violence against children is a global phenomenon. According to the UNICEF 2014 report “Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children”, 6 out of 10 children between the ages of 2 and 14 worldwide (almost a billion) are subjected to physical punishment by their caregivers on a regular basis. In Egypt, the Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2014 published by the Ministry of Health had shown that 93% of children of ages 1-14 years old have been subject to some form of violent disciplinary practices by their parents and/or caregivers, which include physical and psychological violence. Only 4% of children are disciplined using an approach that is exclusively violence-free.
“The widespread acceptability of violent discipline in Egypt shows a need for strong public communication on the negative impact of physical and emotional violence on children. Parents and caregivers need to be more aware of alternative disciplinary options that make them more positively involved in their children’s lives,” said Dr Maissa Shawky, Deputy Minister of Health and Population, and Representative of NCCM. “The National Child Helpline 16000 and the Family Counselling Helpline 16021 will provide parents and caregivers with guidance on positive discipline techniques via trained social workers.”
The ‘Awladna’ campaign reflects the European Union’s commitment to the support of Egyptian children, and comes within a broader programme under which the European Union has committed EUR 30 million in grants to support increased access to education and protection of at risk children.