SRSG Santos Pais calls for urgent action to end all forms of sexual violence against children, within and across borders
On the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, SRSG Santos Pais highlighted the central role of States, as well as families, teachers, law enforcement officials and other community members to raise awareness and mobilize action to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
“The European Day is a momentous occasion to reaffirm our commitment to discuss and address the many risks children face and to feel reignited in our resolve to combat any form of sexual violence of children, by informing parents and empowering children to prevent and respond to these serious human rights violations, by supporting child victims to access safe and age sensitive institutions for redress, recovery and reintegration; and by enhancing the capacity of professionals and helping to fight impunity” said SRSG Santos Pais.
18 November: End Child Sex Abuse Day
Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children can happen online, on a phone, on the streets or through a webcam, at home or at school. It can be inflicted by someone in the child’s circle of trust or even a complete stranger and can cause lifelong damage to the child’s physical and mental health.
His Holiness Pope Francis calls on the international community to protect children from violence and maltreatment
At the end of the General Audience in the Vatican on 16 November, His Holiness Pope Francis appealed to the conscience of all, of institutions and families, to ensure the protection of children from violence. The appeal was made in view of the celebration of the International Day of Children's Rights, on November 20th.
In his message, Pope Francis prayed for the protection of children who are victims of slavery, recruitment by armed groups and maltreatment. His Holiness called on the international community to be vigilant and safeguard children's lives, to ensure the right of every boy and girl to school and education, to enable them to grow up serene and with confidence in the future.
The original message from His Holiness Pope Francis can be found here
SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the Call to Action to End Crimes and Extreme Violence against Children adopted by the International Policy Conference on the Rights of the Child, organized by the African Child Policy Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With the participation of policy makers, researchers, religious leaders, civil society organizations, child rights experts and the media from around the African continent, this biennial conference shed light on the often fatal forms of violence that children face as a result of discriminatory and harmful beliefs and practices towards particularly marginalised and vulnerable children. Serious cases of infanticides, and attacks on children with albinism or those accused of witchcraft, as well as needed actions to secure the protection of girls and boys deserved a special attention by participants from countries across the continent.
World Cities Day 2016 - Promoting safe and inclusive cities where every child can develop to their full potential, free from fear and from violence
On the commemoration of World Cities Day 2016, SRSG Santos Pais reaffirms her firm commitment to promote the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, adopted during the Habitat III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016.
“World Cities Day is a strategic occasion to mobilize support and translate into action the important commitments enshrined in the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. With strong leadership and steady investment in the implementation of these global agenda, the international community can ensure inclusive, safe, and child-friendly urban environments for all, leaving no child behind”, said Santos Pais.
SRSG concludes week-long visit to Malawi to support national efforts to end violence against children and promote the abandonment of harmful practices
On her second visit to Malawi, the Special Representative met senior government officials, traditional leaders, and representatives from civil society and development agencies to support national efforts to end violence against children, including harmful practices. The visit provided a strategic opportunity to assess progress in the implementation of the policy agenda developed by the Government in response to the findings of the survey on violence against children launched last year. The visit also helped focus national attention on the high prevalence of child marriages, as well as the abuse associated with sexual initiation ceremonies, and attacks against children with albinism.
SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the designation of Manfred Nowak to lead the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty
“I want to express my strong commitment to work closely with the Independent Expert to prevent children’s deprivation of liberty and to safeguard their rights and ensure the effective reintegration of those placed in detention. I am confident that the work promoted by Mr. Nowak will be key to mobilize all stakeholders in advancing measures on crime prevention and on building evidence to prevent children's criminalization and deprivation of liberty, as well as on the protection of children from violence, on the enhancement of their access to justice, and on establishing and reinforcing child-friendly proceedings and institutions in the criminal justice system” said Ms. Santos Pais.
Quito, October 19, 2016 – Armed violence in the community compromises children’s rights and is associated with serious risks for their development and safety, causing children to be injured, disabled, traumatized, exploited, orphaned, imprisoned and at times killed.
On 19 October, SRSG Santos Pais, launched her new report on Protecting children from Armed Violence in the Community on the occasion of Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development held in Quito.