Two hundred young people hold their own football world cup in Brazil to speak out against violence

World_Vision_Cup_HeaderThis week, boys and girls from around the world will be rivals on the football field, but will be united as one to speak out against the inequalities and violence they say are ruining their lives.

The football tournament will see youths from 13 countries call on world leaders to work for a more fair society in which they can enjoy their rights. “A fair society is one where all children have equal rights and are protected,” said Abudlhakim, 11, from Ethiopia. “I want to live in a society where children are listened to and where they are allowed to participate to build a better world for everybody,” said Brownley, 13, from Haiti.

All week, the children gathered in Recife will talk about issues such as violence, child labour and sexual exploitation during workshops, presentations and group discussions. “Inequalities and violence are preventing too many children and young people from having an equal chance to play the game of life,said Joao Diniz, World Vision Brazil national director. “They know this, and they want to change this, so the World Vision Cup is a chance for them to start to see this change happen.”

Eduardo, a 19-year-old boy from Recife, is looking forward to sharing his experience with others from around the world. “I myself grew up in violence. I myself grew up in a violent community. My dad was arrested and that was no good to me. Now I am working at finding solutions to these issues affecting my generation and the World Vision Cup is an amazing opportunity to call on leaders to take action.”

Child labour and violence remain an issues for Europe, as emphasised in a recent statement by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The World Vision Cup is an opportunity to reiterate the EU’s strong commitment to the implementation of European Union’s policy on the promotion and protection of children’s rights everywhere in the world.

On 20 November 2012, on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced that the European External Action Service (EEAS) planned to launch a global campaign from November 2013 to November 2014 to end violence against children. Central drivers in the campaign would be the EU delegations in countries around the world.

“Violence against children is a worrying global phenomenon. It is a source of real concern for World Vision and other child focused organisations that since then we have not heard much about any progress of that intended EU campaign, or indeed about the campaign itself. This underlines why we must continuously work with the EU and its institutions to remind them of the need to find and to fund efficient ways to guarantee the rights and protection of children,” says World Vision’s European Union Representative, Marius Wanders.

Throughout the week, there are a series of events:

·        Thursday, 15 May: Final match of the tournament at the Eladio de Barros Carvalho stadium.
·        Friday, 16 May, 9h: Closing ceremony in the morning at the Eladio de Barros Carvalho stadium. Participants will be handing over their ‘Letter of Recife’ to representatives from the government, United Nations, UNICEF and World Vision. A press release will be made available and circulated.
·        Saturday, 17 May at 10h: Flash mob free style football in Marco Zero, Recife. A public act to support the One Goal campaign which seeks to ignite a movement to address the issue of child malnutrition in Asia, using football as the catalyst.Participating countries list:
Ethiopia, Mongolia, Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Germany, Haiti and Brazil.

Spokespeople list:
On the World Vision Cup: Joao Diniz, World Vision Brazil national director
On World Vision Brazil’s programs: Maria Carolina, World Vision Brazil Operations director
On MJPOP, Brazil’s youth advocacy network: Reinaldo Almeida, MJPOP coordinator for World Vision Brazil

·        The World Vision Cup video is available here.

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Category: A Frontpage, Brazil, Child welfare, Development, World