In a powerful new video, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) shows how a little boy – with bruises on his face – enters a pharmacy, seeking a vaccine for violence.
Later, it is revealed that it all turns out to be his imagination. The pharmacist was actually an action figure the child was holding while yelling can be heard in the background.
The message is simple yet moving: You can save children from epidemics like smallpox, influenza and polio, but there is no cure for physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse.
It is a part of the #ENDviolence against children initiative – a global movement to raise awareness and spark local action to combat abuse against children.
In addition to discussing the reasons of violent deaths in conflict-stricken countries like Africa, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria, the UNICEF report, “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence against Children,” also explores why Central American kids risk moving to the north.
“School children and teachers live in fear of murder, theft and extortion. School attendance [in El Salvador] is among the lowest in Latin America, and violence is one of the main reasons,” the report said.
“One in three Salvadoran children in Year 6 of primary school report having been robbed in the past month and four in 10 report being bullied,” it added.
The message of the UNICEF video is loud and clear: “Every five minutes a child dies as a result of violence. There’s no vaccine. There’s only you.”