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Reducing violence in young children’s lives: an interview with Cecilia Vaca Jones

Cecilia Vaca Jones* is Programme Director, Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF). Prior to joining the Foundation, she was Coordinating Minister of Social Development of Ecuador from April 2013 to March 2016. This email interview was conducted by Sudeshna Mukherjee.

1. You were previously Coordinating Minister of Social Development for the Government of Ecuador.  Could you elaborate and cite some of the policies that you have helped shape towards a better and safer childhood?

As Coordinating Minister of Social Development, I was able to oversee the branch of government that works to meet social development goals for the country. During the three years of my tenure, I was able to contribute to the creation, evaluation, review and innovation of policies in vital areas of social development, promising better living for all Ecuadorians, especially for children. Among the most important policies that I was able to help promote and enforce, were the early childhood national strategy, educational reforms, healthcare reforms, social security reforms and the poverty alleviation national strategy. In the last nine years, the Government of Ecuador achieved important social indicators.

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How safe do Brazilian kids feel?

A new mobile app tested in 14 cities is generating some surprising answers

Robert Muggah, Renata Giannini, and Natalie Hanna*

Violence against children is a global problem. Homicides alone claims the lives of close to 100,000 children a year. To put the scale of the impact in perspective, the Ebola virus killed 11,315 people in almost two years. About 1 in 4 of all child-related homicides occurs in Latin America. Boys are 6 times more likely to be a victim than girls (19 per 100,000 compared to 3 per 100,000).

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Making children safer in Brazil

Robert Muggah, Renata Giannini, and Natalie Hanna*

Mega events such as the Olympic Games and World Cup always leave mixed legacies. On the one side are new infrastructure, transport services and a powerful, if short-term, feel-good factor. On the other are corruption, evictions and cost over-runs that leave a generation indebted. Virtually all Olympics since the 1960s have exceeded their projected budgets by a significant margin. Brazil is hardly the exception.

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