David Beckham lends his body to a charitable cause

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David Beckham's love of tattoos has inspired a film made to highlight that abuse can mark children forever.

Scenes of violence against children appear as animated tattoos on Beckham's body during Unicef's 60-second clip.

David Beckham has participated in the Unicef video
David Beckham has participated in the Unicef video (Unicef)

The former football star's own collection of tattoos were marks chosen to represent happy or important memories, and the charity points out that millions of children bear marks they have not chosen - the long-lasting scars of violence and abuse.

The animations in the film depict forms of violence that children endure in spaces where they should be safe, such as their homes, schools, online and in their communities.

David Beckham has participated in the Unicef video
David Beckham's tattoos become animated in the new video (Unicef)

Unicef goodwill ambassador Beckham, 41, said: "When I launched my 7 Fund with Unicef, I made a commitment to do everything I can to make the world a safer place for children and to speak out on issues that are having a devastating impact on children's lives.

"One of those issues is violence. Every five minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies from violence. Millions more are in danger of physical, emotional and sexual abuse that could destroy their childhoods forever.

David Beckham has participated in the Unicef video
A child dies from violence every five minutes, David Beckham said (Unicef)

"Last year I visited Cambodia with Unicef where I met and listened to children tell me about terrible violence they have experienced.

"I was shocked by what I heard and I saw how violence can leave deep and lasting scars. No child should have to endure this. Yet in all corners of the world, in their homes, schools and on their streets, children are suffering similar violence.

David Beckham has participated in the Unicef video
The tattoos show scenes of violence against children (Unicef)

"I hope this new project will draw attention to this urgent issue and inspire action. Violence against children is wrong and together we need to end it."

Using U-report, a messaging tool that allows young people to report on issues affecting their lives, father-of-four Beckham invited young people to answer questions on violence against children.

More than 190,000 "U-reporters" from 22 countries responded, and two-thirds of them said that they have personally experienced physical or verbal abuse or know somebody else who has.

When asked who they think commits violence most often, one-third said police or law enforcement, 29% said their peers, 28% said a parent or caregiver and 9% said teachers.