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.
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
Other articles concerning this region:
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, acting in his capacity as depositary, communicated the following:
The above Protocol, which was adopted at the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations by resolution 66/138 of 19 December 2011, will be open for signature at a signing ceremony to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 28 February 2012 and thereafter...
The Council of Europe transversal programme “Building a Europe for and with children” was launched in
2006 in response to a mandate resulting from the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw 2005).
The strategy on the rights of the child 2012-15 proposes a vision for the Council of Europe’s role and action in this field, taking...
We, the representatives of the Council of Europe, the League of Arab States, MERCOSUR Pro-Tempore Chairmanship of the Permanent Commission of the Initiative Nin@Sur, the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child participating, with UNICEF, in the first held meeting of Regional Organizations and Institutions on Violence against Children,...
Towards a Strategy on the Rights of the Child
The European Commission proposes a strategy to effectively promote and safeguard the rights of the child in the European Union's internal and external policies and to support Member States' efforts in this field.
Commission communication of 4 July 2006 - Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child...
SRSG Santos Pais joined high-level governmental officials and leading child rights experts from across Europe in the conference “Stepping up Progress in Combating Violence against Children”, held in Ankara, Turkey.
The event was organized by the Government of Turkey, the Council of Europe and UNICEF, in collaboration with the SRSG on Violence against Children....
The conference will pursue the overall aim of exchanging European experiences in implementing integrated national strategies and addressing gaps in accountability and responsiveness to safeguard children’s rights and eliminate violence against children.
More specifically, the conference will pursue the following objectives :
- Stock-taking and next steps within the context of the mandate of the UN SRSG VAC: starting...