Fans of the Olympic and Paralympic Games urged to help protect children

Proteja Brasil app enables witnesses and victims to report child abuse and exploitation

TORONTO and BRASILIA, Brazil and NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Today UNICEF is launching a global sports initiative to engage people in its work for children. Sports enthusiasts worldwide can get involved in the Olympic and Paralympic action for free by signing up to Team UNICEF Get Active for Children, a program that unlocks a R$5 corporate donation every time participants complete five kilometers by foot or wheelchair.

Users can also accumulate points by exercising and accomplishing other activities including completing a quiz at the Team UNICEF platform. The participant with the highest number of points will win a trip to see UNICEF's work first-hand in Brazil (international travel is not included).

"The Olympics and Paralympics are all about athletic greatness, and to be a great athlete, you need a good start in life," says Meg French, UNICEF Canada's Chief Program Officer. "That's why it's important to seize events like these as opportunities to improve children's lives around the world."

Estimates suggest 30 children and adolescents are murdered every day in Brazil. More than one in three adolescent deaths in the country is a result of murder, compared to one in 20 deaths caused by homicide among the total population. For Brazil's most vulnerable children, exposure to violence and exploitation is commonplace. Major sporting events can put these children at an increased risk of atrocities including sexual abuse and child labour.

UNICEF app aims to protect Brazil's most vulnerable children

To help prevent and respond to violence against children during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, UNICEF has also launched a new version of Proteja Brasil, an app that enables witnesses and victims to report violence, abuse and exploitation to the authorities. Reports on the time, location and circumstances can be filed online and anonymously.

"We want everyone to get into the sporting spirit and Get Active for Children to help raise vital funds for UNICEF's work for the world's most vulnerable children," said Gary Stahl, UNICEF's Representative in Brazil.

"Violence, abuse, discrimination and exploitation are a harsh reality for far too many children," said Stahl. "Proteja Brasil gives everyday people the chance to make it personal and take action to help tackle children's rights' violations and get them the help they so desperately need."

Team UNICEF – Get Active for Children was created by UNICEF and Ogilvy and supported by Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and Save the Dream.   

Note to editors

Team UNICEF Get Active for Children and Proteja Brasil are available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

About UNICEF
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

Image with caption: "Winny Moreira, 17, uses her mobile phone on a street in Taiobeiras, Brazil. UNICEF is launching two new mobile initiatives to help protect vulnerable children in Brazil and around the world. © UNICEF/UN017602/Ueslei Marcelino (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160803_C6498_PHOTO_EN_746482.jpg

For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866; 647-500-4230 (mobile), scarmichael@unicef.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.unicef.ca

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