UN Supports Song, Video for Campaign to End Sex with the Girl ChildMay 2, 2015
“Please do not let what happened to me, happen to another child…..I am asking you to be alert, look out for your children, look out for the children in your community. Watch for and report abusers. Do not be afraid to tell the rapists and child abusers – Nuh Guh Deh!”
This request was made by young Rushell, a survivor of sexual violence, at the United Nations-supported launch of the Nuh Guh Deh song and video on 2 May 2015. The launch marked a step forward in the Nuh Guh Deh campaign organised by NGO Eve for Life, and took place at Emancipation Park in Kingston. Nuh Guh Deh – which translated from Jamaican patois means Don’t Go There – is a campaign to end sexual abuse of the girl child in Jamaica.
In her address to persons at the event, Rushell, who has benefited from Eve for Life’s care and support programmes, urged Jamaicans to speak out about the sexual abuse of girls and to stop blaming the victims of this crime, instead of the perpetrators.
Nuh Guh Deh was launched last year on the International Day to End Violence Against Women. On that occasion the UN Agencies in Jamaica gave a public commitment of support to the campaign. On 2 May UN representatives were present at Emancipation Park to support the launch of the song and video, which were produced by the popular band Nomadzz.
UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Arun Kashyap, urged Jamaicans to spread the Nuh Guh Deh message. He noted that a 2014 UNICEF report has highlighted the fact that globally, many girls experience forced sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual coercion. In pointing out the far reaching physical, social and psychologial consequences of sexual violence against girls in Jamaica, Dr. Kashyap noted Jamaica’s high rate of teenage pregnancy and the fact that among adolescents in the island, girls are three to four times more at risk of HIV infection than boys.
“The United Nations in Jamaica is taking an inclusive and an integrated approach to address the issue of sexual violence against our children. Led by the United Nations Children’s Fund, each agency will bring its comparative advantage be it in the areas of health, education, governance, human rights, poverty reduction – to reduce the risk of violence to our children. We are committed to eliminating this disgraceful act and will leave no stone unturned to achieve it,” the Resident Coordinator stated.
Dr. Kashyap commended the use of music and video to spread the Nuh Guh Deh message, noting the influence of music in Jamaica and its power to educate, inspire and mobilise people.
The launch event, which took the form of a concert, was attended by stakeholders from the government including the Ministries of Health, Education and Youth and Culture, and from UN agencies and other development partners, as well as representatives from civil society who were at the park on Saturday night.
Besides viewing the Nuh Guh Deh Video and another music video on child protection featuring renowned reggae artiste Jimmy Cliff, the audience was treated to strong and powerful messages about child protection in the form of music and poetry by various performers. The evening ended with a musical performance from Nomadzz that had audience members dancing up a storm and singing the lyrics of the Nuh Guh Deh song.