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PAN Asia Pacific Press Release: Online campaign against pesticides launched on International Children’s Day 2014
#PesticidesFreeWorld for Children
Online campaign against pesticides launched on International Children’s Day 2014
PENANG, Malaysia – To mark the International Children’s Day today, regional advocacy group PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) launched an online campaign in ten countries to raise public awareness on the detrimental impact of pesticides on children.
Using the #PesticidesFreeWorld, PANAP with its partners from 10 countries - India, Senegal (PAN Africa), China, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the Asia Pacific supported by Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN NA) and Pesticide Action Network United Kingdom (PAN UK) turned to popular social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook to inform the public and initiate discussions on pesticides and children, and ultimately convince policy makers to implement the necessary reforms as part of PANAP’s Protect Our Children from Toxic Pesticides Campaign (POC).
“We chose to launch this campaign on International Children’s Day to better highlight the particular vulnerabilities that our children face in terms of pesticides exposure. It is a fact that compared to adults, children suffer far greater risks of pesticide poisoning as well as physical and intellectual abnormalities due to harmful chemicals,” said PANAP executive director Sarojeni Rengam.
A US national survey found that of the 40 pesticides most commonly used in schools, 28 are probable or possible carcinogens (cancer-causing), 26 cause reproductive problems, 26 damage the nervous system and 13 are linked to birth defects.
A result of a resolution by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, 20th November marks the day on which the UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
“Pesticides grossly violate the rights of our children to a healthy and sustainable environment that will allow them to ‘survive and thrive’ and ‘learn and grow’, in the words of the UN. As adults and parents, we should make it our responsibility to ensure that the health and future of our children are not jeopardized by these harmful chemicals and pesticides,” Jayakumar, Director of Pesticide Action Network India said and co-chair of PANAP Task Force.
Through its online campaign, PANAP and its partners are encouraging Twitter and Facebook users to post photos of themselves and children holding a placard written with #PesticidesFreeWorld.
Social media users are also invited to use the campaign’s logo as their profile picture for the day.
“Netizens have proven that social media can be an effective tool in getting the attention of, and informing and educating the public, especially on issues that the mainstream media often ignore. Hopefully, our pesticides campaign will generate interest and gain traction in social media, and complement our other campaign efforts to initiate reforms that will protect our children from pesticides,” added Rengam.
To know more about the campaign, visit http://www.panap.net/campaigns/hhps/children-and-pesticides. Follow us on Twitter @PANAsiaPacific,@PesticideAction, @PAN_UK, and like our Facebook page (PAN Asia Pacific) for additional information and updates.