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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Taped Message for the NSPCC FULLSTOP CAMPAIGN – Auction of Dreams

Good evening everyone.  I am delighted to add my voice to this special occasion.

We all know that childhood should be a time of innocence, security and dreams.  Yet for many of the world’s most vulnerable citizens, it is instead a living nightmare of abuse.

From around the world, we come together tonight to demand a Full Stop to the cruelty – and to celebrate the NSPCC and its efforts to lift children’s lives.  

It has been more than a century since Reverend Benjamin Waugh first spoke up for children suffering in silence.  Today, the Society he founded has reached and helped more than ten million children – listening… advising… raising public awareness… and pushing for policy change.  

Just as impressive, this historic Society has evolved along with the times.  In the 1880s, child safety inspectors patrolled neighborhoods on foot and by bicycle.  Today, children in need can find practical, sensitive, confidential support at their fingertips – just by logging on to There4me.com, and accessing help right away.

Jordan’s efforts to combat child abuse draw inspiration from these achievements. Only ten years ago, Jordanians were reluctant to acknowledge that child abuse even existed.  The Jordan River Foundation’s pioneering Child Safety Program shattered that taboo.  Since then, we have promoted public awareness, established the Arab world’s first shelter for abused children, and opened a new family and child center that provides training to secure the human rights of all Jordanians. 

Today, Jordan’s child safety system is a model for the Arab world.   But just as we are proud to export our expertise, so we are keen to import new ideas.  We welcome our upcoming partnership with the NSPCC, and the deepening of a friendship from which we have already gained such motivation and support.   

I hope that this will just be the start of a global child protection network…one that unites people of good will around the world… and extends to embrace children everywhere.  For my own dream, at this Auction of Dreams, is that – thanks to people like you – the cruelty inflicted on children will some day be going… going… gone. 

Thank you.

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