New York, 20 November 2014 - Today as the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we reflect on its continuing relevance and how far its solemn promises are being kept. In 1989, a compelling vision for a better world for children was carefully and comprehensively set out in the Convention’s 54 articles and embraced by the...
Cooperation with the Council of Europe
The Special Representative collaborates closely with the Council of Europe. Violence against children is a key priority for the Council, which is the European forum for follow-up to the recommendations of the United Nations Study and cooperation with the Special Representative.
In 2009, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Policy Guidelines on integrated national strategies for the protection of children from violence, calling on Member States to promote the wide dissemination of the guidelines and their implementation through national legislation, policy and practice. According to the guidelines, an integrated national strategy is a multifaceted and systematic framework fully integrated into a national policy, with a specific time frame, with realistic targets, coordinated and monitored by a single agency, supported by adequate human and financial resources and based on scientific knowledge. To advance the process of implementation of the guidelines, a follow-up meeting was hosted by the Government of Austria, in Vienna. The meeting was a timely occasion to review Member States’ experiences, reflect on lessons from initiatives within and across countries, and learn from developments in other regions of the world.
On 17 November 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council adopted the Guidelines on Child-Friendly Justice, to ensure children’s access to a justice system that is age-sensitive, speedy, diligent and respectful of the rights of the child, and to protect those involved from harm, intimidation and secondary victimization. The Guidelines establish important standards to inform counselling, reporting and complaint mechanisms for incidents of violence. They provide a key reference for the Council’s Campaign to Stop Sexual Violence of Children, launched with the Special Representative in late November 2010. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and offer knowledge and advice to families and children on the prevention and reporting of incidents of sexual violence against children.
Cooperation with the European Union
The Special Representative works with the European Union, with a view to advance the development of the European Union strategy on the rights of the child, under preparation by the Commission, and the further implementation of the 2007 European Union Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child and its strategy to fight violence against children.
The promotion and protection of the rights of the child is one of the objectives of the EU on which the Treaty of Lisbon has put further emphasis. Notably, Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union explicitly requires the EU to promote the protection of the rights of the child.
On 15 February 2011, the European Union established an Agenda for the Rights of the Child, listing 11 actions that the Commission would take over the coming years. The initiative aimed to reaffirm the strong commitment of EU institutions and Member States to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of the child in all relevant EU policies and to turn them into concrete results. In the future, EU policies that affect children directly or indirectly should be designed, implemented, and monitored taking into account the principle of children’s best interests.
In November 2010, the Special Representative met the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. The meeting was a strategic opportunity to address areas of shared concern, including the inclusion of children’s protection from violence in the above-mentioned strategy on the rights of the child, the consolidation of legislation and other actions for the protection of girls from harmful practices, and the safeguard of the rights of child victims of incidents of violence.
In the framework of the partnership developed with the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, the Special Representative participated in the conference on the theme “Ensuring justice and protection for all children”, held in Brussels on 7 and 8 December 2010, and organized with the Belgian Presidency of the European Union. Attended by a vast network of Government officials, academics and child rights experts, intergovernmental and civil society, the meeting gave prominent attention to violence prevention and the promotion of ethical and child-sensitive approaches to counselling and support for child victims of violence.
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - A Special Place for Children in the EU External Action
Human Rights Standards
European Convention on Human Rights
European Social Charter (Revised)
European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
European Convention on the Adoption of Children (Revised)
Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse
Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
Convention on Cybercrime
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The Special Representative of the Secretary General on violence against children Marta Santos Pais joined this week the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Poland.
“The Convention on the Rights of the Child owes much to Poland. The Convention’s vision of the child as a subject of rights...
In a high level meeting in Oslo, SRSG Santos Pais called on Governments around the world to invest in early childhood initiatives for the prevention and elimination of violence against children.
“Violence in early years has an irreversible impact on children's development and often shapes their adult lives. But beyond its impact on individual victims, it is associated...
Conference on the right of the child to protection against violence, cruelty, exploitation, demoralization, neglect and other forms of maltreatment (participants of the conference will be academics and experts in the field of the rights of the child) Venue: Belweder - Residence of the President of the Republic of Poland
· Anna Komorowska First Lady, Marek Michalak Ombudsman for Children...
On July 22nd, SRSG Santos Pais will participate in the Girl Summit held in London, UK. The Girl Summit will rally a global movement to end child, early and forced marriage and FGM for all girls within a generation. Doing this will help preserve girls' childhoods, promote their education, reduce their exposure to violence and abuse, and allow them to fulfil their...
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P.J. Patterson, has implored delegates who will be taking part in the two-day United Nations Cross-Regional meeting to give serious thought as to how to build communities that are more peaceful and safe for children.
"No matter what we do, it cannot insulate our children from the effect of violence when it is rampant in the communities...
The Government has developed a national plan of action as it intensifies its drive to effectively tackle the issue of violence against children in Jamaica.
This was disclosed by Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who noted that the National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence aims to create and maintain a protective environment,...