*Image credit:lovelifefathom.com

UNICEF India today announced popular Indian film actor and thought-leader, Ayushmann Khurrana, as its celebrity advocate for promoting rights For EveryChild. Ayushmann Khurrana will support UNICEF towards its work around ending violence against children.

Welcoming Ayushman Khurrana as a celebrity advocate for children’s rights, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque,UNICEF Representative in India said, “I am delighted to welcome Ayushmann Khurrana as a UNICEF celebrity advocate. He’s an actor who challenges the boundary of every role he plays. He will bring a sensitivity, passion and a powerful voice for every child, with a specific focus towards ending violence against children. Ayushmann’s support will help increase awareness about this important issue, especially now with Covid-19 heightening the risk of violence and abuse against children due to the extended lockdown and the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.”

Ayushmann Khurrana said, “I am very pleased to partner with UNICEF as a celebrity advocate. I believe that everyone deserves the best start in life. As I watch my children play in the safety and happiness of our home, I think about all the children who never get to experience a safe childhood and grow up with violence at home or outside. With UNICEF, I look forward to supporting rights of the most vulnerable children, so that they grow up as happier, healthier, educated citzens in nurturing environments free from violence.”

Violence occurs every day and is reality for a large number of girls and boys in India. Often the violence is caused or perpetrated by someone the child knows and trusts. Violence happens in those places intended to be protective: at home, at school, in their communities, in specialized institutions for children.  It can also be online. As daily lives and families are disrupted by COVID-19, children may be at increased risk as illness, school closures, job loss and isolation measures put additional stress on families and may lead to negative coping mechanisms that may sadly include abusive behaviors against children.

Children deserve to live free from violence and to have a chance to live happy, healthy lives in which they can achieve their full potential and contribute to their families and communities. UNICEF is committed to ending violence against children by partnering with children and young people, families, communities, influencers and governments. Addressing violence against children is a priority for UNICEF, placing violence prevention at the core of its work.

Data: violence against children:

  • One out of five adolescent girls have experienced physical violence since age 15 and one in three adolescent girls married or in union have experienced violence by their husband or partners. (Source: NFHS 4)
  • Every hour 5 cases of child sexual abuse are reported. (Source: NCRB 2018).
  • 50% of cases of sexual abuse are perpetrated by close family members or friends. (Source: NCRB, 2018)
  • 99% of school children are subjected to physical and mental abuse by teachers (Source: NCPCR, 2012)
  • One in three children in India reported that they experienced cyberbullying. (Source: U-Report, 2019)

About Ayushmann Khurrana

Ayushmann Khurrana is an Indian star, who is considered a youth icon and a thought leader, given his choice of films that start positive, social conversations in India. He is a multi-faceted talent as he dabbled in acting and singing. Known for his portrayals of ordinary men who do extraordinary things and become everyday heroes, he is the recipient of several awards, including a National Film Award and four Filmfare Awards, and

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