The children’s television channel Cartoon Network, through its social responsibility program ‘Cartoon Movement’, today joined ‘Vamos Jogar’, an initiative of social mobilization and political commitment promoted by UNICEF and the City of Rio de Janeiro to foster the right to safe and inclusive sports, recreation and play for all children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Thus, Cartoon Network Latin America becomes the first media partner of this initiative.

As part of its collaboration with ‘Vamos Jogar’, Cartoon Network produced a public service announcement (PSA) to promote the right to play in Latin America, starring the football player Neymar Jr., which will be broadcast across the whole region during the coming months. The new PSA (a 3D animation in 30 and 60-second formats) shows children from around the world and from diverse backgrounds and abilities converging on a sports field with the joyful cry “Let’s play!” It concludes with a message underscoring the right of all kids to enjoy safe and inclusive sports and recreation.

The TV network and the football player Neymar Jr. donated the broadcast rights of this announcement to UNICEF, so that all TV channels wishing to broadcast and promote the right to sport and play may do so freely.

‘Vamos Jogar’ will also appear in the new version of the online game ‘Copa Toon 2014’, in order to encourage its young players to join the initiative and claim their rights to play and participate in sports within their families, communities and municipalities.

“We are delighted to join our long-standing partner UNICEF to promote the ‘Vamos Jogar’ initiative. It fits perfectly with our pro-social program, The Cartoon Movement”, said Barry Koch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cartoon Network Latin America. “With all the excitement around the World Cup, our new PSA featuring soccer star Neymar Jr. is a fun reminder that all kids have the right to safe and inclusive sports.”

The UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen, recalled that 198 million children and adolescents live in the region, and they all have a right that is not always fulfilled: the right to participate in sports, recreation and play, recognized in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. “We hope that this collaboration with Cartoon Network will be the first of many partnerships to foster this right and that more media channels, companies, athletes, organizations, municipalities and citizens in the region will join ‘Vamos Jogar’”, he concluded.

Cartoon Network Latin America has been collaborating with UNICEF for many years through the free broadcasting of public service announcements, and since 2010 in joint communication and mobilization campaigns to promote the well-being and rights of children, such as the ‘Green Campaign’ initiative in 2011 to promote environmental care.

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