Cooperation with the Council of Europe
The Special Representative collaborates closely with the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights organisation counting 47 member States.
The Council of Europe was a major contributor to the preparation of the UN Study on violence against children and, since 2006, has consistently included the elimination of violence as a priority of its transversal programme “Building a Europe for and with children”. According to the current Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2012-2015):
“The Council of Europe will continue to act as a regional initiator and co-ordinator of initiatives to eliminate all violence against children in Europe. As the European forum for follow-up to the recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children (2006), it will continue to support the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children as well as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. To this end, the Organisation will adopt a two-pronged approach to:
• support the adoption and implementation of integrated national strategies to protect children from violence. These will include legislative, policy and institutional reforms and a focus on prevention;
• promote zero tolerance for all forms of violence by raising awareness and taking action to address specific types of violence and focus on settings in which violence occurs.”
The Special Representative regularly and strategically engages with the various Council of Europe bodies and institutions, including its Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and several intergovernmental and monitoring bodies. The richness of Council of Europe contribution to the elimination of violence against children includes several legally binding treaties, policy guidelines and recommendations, monitoring of States compliance with international standards, training and capacity building programmes and two major campaigns (against corporal punishment and against sexual violence).
The result of this work is made available at the Council of Europe website: www.coe.int/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.
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers
Committee of Ministers Recommendation on measures to protect children against harmful content and behaviour and to promote their active participation in the new information and communications environment (2009)
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
Council of Europe Conferences
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
Other articles concerning this region:
The Cross-Regional Round Table will focus on the prevention and elimination of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. 2015 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and five years since the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and...
Reports Third Committee to the Pleenary (69th Session United Nations General Assembly) here
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...
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...