Safeguarding the rights of girls in the criminal justice system


1. Introduction

Gender-based violence is a pervasive and devastating manifestation of discrimination against women and girls. International human rights standards, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, provide a solid framework for preventing and responding to violence against girls in both public and private spheres. Unfortunately,
non-compliance with international human rights obligations to protect girls from all forms of violence
remains a serious challenge.

SRSG Santos Pais calls for concerted efforts to eliminate bullying in all regions

SRSG Santos Pais calls for concerted efforts to eliminate bullying in all region

Bullying is a serious concern for millions of children all over the world.  The scale, pervasiveness and impact of bullying on children’s development and wellbeing were discussed at a side event co-organized by SRSG Santos Pais with the Governments of Mexico and Japan. The event was held during the United Nations General Assembly‘s debate on the rights of the child, which this year places particular emphasis on children’s right to education.

Bullying compromises children’s rights, including the right to education. It presents special risks for children in situations of vulnerability, such as children with disabilities; children affected by migration or who are asylum seekers or refugees; children who are socially excluded; children who belong to a minority or who are indigenous.

SRSG and ENOC strenghten cooperation on children's freedom from violence


In the course of the annual meeting of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), SRSG Marta Santos Pais and ENOC further enhanced their strategic collaboration to prevent and address all forms of violence against children.

To reaffirm this partnership, a joint statement was issued setting out common areas of action over the coming years. ENOC also issued a separate statement, outlining the detailed actions it proposes to take to tackle violence against children in Europe.

SRSG Santos Pais commended ENOC for choosing the elimination of violence against children as a priority and encouraged its members to support and promote the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Joint statement on Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child - Somalia becomes 196th State Party to the Convention


NEW YORK, 2 October 2015 – “Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a significant and very welcome step toward realizing the rights of the country's 6.5 million children.

“The children of Somalia face enormous challenges. Somalia today has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world, alarming malnutrition rates, and very high levels of violence affecting children.  

“By becoming the 196th nation to ratify the Convention, Somalia has committed to uphold the dignity and worth of every child and translate the obligations of the CRC into concrete actions, especially for those children in greatest need and at greatest risk.

Outcome Document: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


The General Assembly

Adopts the following outcome document of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda:

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

A world as big as children's dreams

A world as big as children's dreams

As from today, ending violence against children is part of the 2030 sustainable development agenda! We want to celebrate this historic moment with governments, organisations and individuals that have made this possible and call on each and every one of them to keep this commitment at the heart of their work, and to translate it into tangible change for children the world over. At this auspicious moment, we want to congratulate and thank all the children who are passionately and fiercely raising their voices and working hard to transform the world into the place they are dreaming of, a world free from violence. Above all, our minds and hearts are with the millions of children who live in fear and pain. We cannot fail them. Ending violence against children is a human rights imperative and a goal within our reach. It will take vision, determination, courage, perseverance and togetherness to get there.

Protecting children from online abuse is everybody's business!

Protecting children from online abuse is everybody's business!
In the lead up to the Human Rights Council 2016 full-day debate on "information and communication technology (ICT) and child sexual exploitation," the Government of Belgium hosted on 15 September, in cooperation with SRSG Santos Pais and UNICEF, a high level panel event to strengthen public-private partnerships for the protection of children from on line sexual abuse and to ensure the implementation of a safe, inclusive and empowering digital agenda for children.

SRSG annual report calls for faster progress in securing children’s protection and creating a world free from fear and from violence


The 2015 annual report of the SRSG-VAC to the UN General Assembly highlights the continuing toll that violence takes on the lives of children around the world and calls for urgent and enhanced efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against children. According to UN data, almost a billion children between the ages of 2 and 14 are subject to physical punishment by their caregivers; 84 million girls are victims of emotional, physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners; and 8 per cent of global homicides affect children under the age of 15. With the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, the international community can make a lasting difference in children’s protection and ensure a world free from fear and from violence for each and every child.

SRSG welcomes launch of Nigerian Data Survey on Violence against Children


Findings from the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey were released in Abuja on 10th September 2015 unveiling the first nationally representative data on the prevalence of sexual, physical, and emotional violence among girls and boys in the country. 

"The data produced by this groundbreaking survey are vital to support government policy, planning and budgeting for effective child protection services, and to inform the implementation of evidence-based actions for violence prevention and response across a range of sectors", said SRSG Santos Pais. 

Draft outcome document of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 69/244 of 29 December 2014, by which it decided, inter alia, that the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held from 25 to 27 September 2015 in New York, and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly,

Recalling also its decision 69/555 of 16 January 2015 on the modalities for the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda,

1. Welcomes the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda and the outcome document entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which was agreed by consensus at the informal meeting of the plenary on 2 August 2015;