David Beckham calls on world leaders to 'protect children'
David Beckham will ask world leaders to end abuse and violence towards vulnerable and disadvantaged children when he speaks at the United Nations next week.
The former footballer and married father-of-four, who is a goodwill ambassador for Unicef, said a recent visit to Cambodia had moved him to take action.
"When I visited Cambodia with Unicef earlier this year, I spent time with children and young people who have experienced terrible violence and abuse, often at the hands of the people who were supposed to protect them," he said.
"Their stories were deeply distressing and as a father it is devastating to think that any child should have to suffer like this.
"After listening to these incredibly brave children, I want to make sure that world leaders act to protect children from danger. Every child, especially the most vulnerable, should be safe.
"That's why I am going to travel to the UN this September, to make sure that children's voices are heard and that the world comes together to stop violence against children."
Beckham (40), who launched his children's charity 7: The David Beckham Unicef Fund, will issue a plea to ask leaders to put children at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals - the new 15-year development agenda that will be adopted at the United Nations General Assembly this month.
"In February, when I launched my new fund with Unicef, I made a promise to speak out for the world's most vulnerable children and to help shine a light on the issues affecting them," said the former Manchester United star.
"It is shocking that every five minutes a child dies as a result of violence. Children are being abused in their homes, schools and communities and this has to stop.
"I hope others will join me to call on world leaders to put children at the heart of the new goals and commit to ending violence against children."