"Maldives has strategic opportunity to translate international commitments to children's rights into tangible legal, policy and programmatic action for the prevention and elimination of violence against children"
In a five-day visit to the Maldives, SRSG Marta Santos Pais expressed her support to national efforts to address concerns about a young girl of 15 years of age victim of sexual abuse and sentenced to flogging, whose case has received worldwide attention and whose protection remains a serious concern.
“I welcome the expression of condemnation by the President and other Maldivian authorities, as well as civil society, of the sentence issued against this this girl. This case is in fact paradigmatic of the wider situation of violence against children, and provides all of us with an important opportunity to push for change to prevent similar cases from happening again. In this regard, I also welcome the decision of the President to set up a Child Protection Committee to identify loopholes in the child protection system and to present recommendations to overcome existing challenges.” said the SRSG.
SRSG welcomes landmark decision by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to develop model strategies for the elimination of violence against children in crime prevention and criminal justice
29 April 2013 - Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children Marta Santos Pais welcomed the adoption by the 23rd session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice of a resolution calling for model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
The resolution builds upon the joint report issued in 2012 by the Special Representative, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system.
Violence against children features highly at the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice during presentation of Joint Report on Prevention of and Responses to Violence against Children
25 April 2013 - A side event on the crucial issue of violence against children in the criminal justice system took place during the 22nd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Speakers view the UN's standard and norms in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice as offering strong support to children, but they also expressed fear that violence against children increases the likelihood of further violence.
During the event, the "Joint Report of UNODC, OHCHR and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on Prevention of and Responses to Violence against Children within the Juvenile Justice System" was presented to the audience.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, welcomed the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). "This new treaty constitutes a crucial piece in the international normative framework for the protection of children from violence and for the prevention of the detrimental impact of armed violence on children's well being".
Adopted on April 2, the arms treaty regulates international trade in conventional weapons and makes it harder for human rights abusers, criminal offenders and arms traffickers to obtain weapons. The treaty requires countries to assess the risks that weapons may pose to the commission of serious acts of gender-based violence and of violence against children, prior to authorizing arms exports.
SRSG joins high-level Government officials, UNICEF and civil society representatives in strong call for inclusion of children protection from violence in the post 2015 development agenda
SRSG Santos Pais joined high-level Government officials, UNICEF and civil society representatives in a strong call for the inclusion of children protection from violence as a key dimension in the post 2015 development agenda.
Hosted by UNICEF, the event "The Prevention of Violence against children and its place in the Post-2015 Agenda" was co-organized by the Governments of Canada and Liberia, moderated by the Government of Sweden, and also included the participation of a representative from the US Government, of the Global Director of the UN Millennium Campaign and of the Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance.
Protecting Children from Harmful Practices - SRSG stresses urgent need to safeguard the supremacy of human rights in case of conflict between national, customary and religious laws
On March 7th 2013, as a contribution to the Human Rights Council’s annual discussion on the child’s right to health, the Special Representative and Plan International organized a side-event "Protecting Children from Harmful Practices" in Geneva. The meeting was organized in the framework of the annual day of discussion on the rights of the child to highlight the enormous challenge presented by harmful practices to the realizations on children’s right to health.
Human Rights Council - SRSG: "It is critical to include the protection of children from violence as a priority and a cross cutting concern in the global development agenda for beyond 2015"
In an interactive debate, SRSG Marta Santos Pais presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council. The report built upon the General Assembly’s decision from November 2012 to extend the mandate of the SRSG on Violence against Children for a further period of three years.
Ms. Santos Pais highlighted the key achievements during her first mandate period. Over the last three years, she recalled that the UN Study on Violence against Children has become an influential policy tool and as a result, violence against children has gained visibility in the public debate. Significant political commitments to prevent and address violence against children have been adopted in seven regions, and the number of countries with a policy agenda on violence against children has gone from 47 to more than 80 countries. Furthermore, the number of countries with an explicit prohibition of all forms of violence against children has increased from 16 to 34.
Human Rights Council - SRSG emphasizes the human rights imperative to end violence against children and considers violence as a major public health concern affecting children of all ages
In the annual full day meeting on the rights of the child, the Human Rights Council focused on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. The meeting included discussions on the challenges in achieving the full realization of the universal right to health and focused on strengthening the implementation of the right of the child to health and on accountability mechanisms that need to be in place to ensure that Member States comply with their human rights obligations.
The Special Representative on Violence against Children participated in a panel with experts from the Government of Uruguay, UN agencies, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, the European Commission, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Special Rapporteur on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, academia, civil society and child representatives from Bolivia and Haiti.
New ratification and strong support mark the first Anniversary of opening to signature of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure
New York, 28 February 2013 - SRSG Marta Santos Pais called for the rapid entry into force of the Protocol in her address at the event “Making Children’s Voices a Reality: Mobilizing States toward Ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”. The meeting was organized by the International Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure and the UN Permanent Missions of Chile, Finland, Germany, the Maldives and Thailand to celebrate the First Anniversary of the signing of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.