(New York – 9 February) Speaking on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, renewed her call to ensure that the empowerment of children is at the heart of building a safer and more inclusive Internet:
“Information and communications technologies evolve and spread at a phenomenal speed. This evolution represents an amazing opportunity, which more and more children are availing of to learn, play, create, socialize, and express themselves. However, without determined and coordinated action, millions of children will continue to be excluded from the benefits of the Internet; child victims of on-line violence, abuse and exploitation will continue to multiply; and impunity for these offences will go unchecked.
SRSG welcomes the ratification by Italy of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure
SRSG annual report to the Human Rights Council calls for accelerated global action to end violence against children
The annual report of the SRSG-VAC to the Human Rights Council builds upon the decision by the General Assembly to renew the mandate of the Special Representative for a further period of three years, and upon the strategic opportunities provided by the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to accelerate progress in children’s protection from violence.
The report is issued in a momentous year for the protection of children from violence, as 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children and the start of implementation of the new global development agenda with its strategic target 16.2 on ending all forms of violence against children.
SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the adoption of new legislation in Peru to prohibit physical and humiliating punishment of children
SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the adoption by the National Congress of Peru of a new law to secure children’s protection from violence on the occasion of the celebration of International Human Rights Day (December 10, 2015).
“Children have an inalienable right to respect for their dignity and physical integrity and to legal protection from all forms of violence. This historic decision highlights the strong commitment of Peru to implement its international legal obligations and the recommendations of the UN Study on Violence against Children”, stressed SRSG Santos Pais.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, SRSG Santos Pais calls for an end to violence against children with disabilities and adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDViolence against Children with Disabilities.
There are at least 93 million children with disabilities around the world. Many are considered to be a cause of shame to their families and a curse and misfortune for their communities. The lives of children with disabilities can be surrounded by stigma, discrimination, cultural prejudices, ill-perceptions and shocking invisibility. In addition, children with disabilities are at dramatically heightened risk of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation.
In spite of limited data and research, available studies reveal an alarming prevalence of violence against children with disabilities – from higher vulnerability to physical and emotional violence when they are young to greater risks of sexual violence as they reach puberty.
SRSG welcomes adoption of ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children
SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the adoption of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA/EVAC) by the 27th ASEAN Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Kuala Lumpur, on 21 November.
The Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the well-being and human rights of the world’s children, especially those suffering the impacts of poverty, armed conflict, discrimination and exploitation. The date of the observance -- 20 November -- marks the day on which, in 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Today, we reaffirm our obligation to do everything in our power to enable all children to survive and thrive, learn and grow, have their voices heard and reach their full potential.
This year, I wish to emphasize the importance of ensuring that the commitments made by the international community to the world’s children are extended to a group of children who are often forgotten or overlooked: those deprived of their liberty.
Marking the first European Day against Sexual Violence on 18 November, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children welcomed this important initiative by the Council of Europe. The European Day against Sexual Violence will help to raise public awareness of children's protection from sexual abuse and exploitation, while strengthening prevention initiatives and promoting the ratification and implementation of the Council's Lanzarote Convention. Special Representative Santos Pais commends the efforts of the Council of Europe, including through the ONE in FIVE Campaign which aims to achieve further ratification and implementation of the treaty.