Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the CRC - Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais


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 international community. The world has changed immensely since 1989 but the ethos of the Convention endures.

The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage

No one should be forced into marriage, or made to marry while still a child. 
No girl or woman should have to endure the physical and psychological effects of female genital mutilation. 
These practices violate the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination. 

Girl Summit 2014 - A future free from FGM and Child and Forced Marriage - Webcast


London, 22 July 2014 - SRSG Santos Pais participated in the Girl Summit held in London, UK. The Girl Summit rallied 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 potential in life. The event was webcasted here.

Everyone has a part to play in achieving rights for girls and women around the world. Take a stand against FGM and child marriage today - pledge your support through Twitter and Facebook in the pink box. Your voices will be heard at the#GirlSummit.

SRSG welcomes adoption of ban on violence against children in Brazil (Portuguese version below/Versão em Português em baixo)


SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the enactment by President Dilma Rousseff of Law 13.010 which recognizes the right of the child to be cared for and educated without any form of corporal punishment or degrading treatment. The new law was enacted enters into force on 26 June 2014.

"The adoption of this new legislation marks an historic day for Brazilian children. It strengthens Brazil's efforts to safeguard children's rights and it gains a decisive global relevance as it increases the percentage of the world’s children protected by a legal ban against all forms of violence from 5% to 8%!" highlighted the Special Representative.

Communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation

COM (2013) 833


Every year, millions of women and girls worldwide have their quality of life drastically altered by female genital mutilation (FGM). The procedure involves partial or total removal of their external genitalia or other injury to their genital organs for non-medical reasons. Thousands of women and girls living in Europe are affected or at risk.

FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of women’s human rights and a form of child abuse. In common with other forms of gender-based violence, ‘it constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, equality between women and men, nondiscrimination and physical and mental integrity. It also violates the rights of the child as defined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UN NEWS RADIO (SPANISH) - La cooperación internacional es clave para luchar contra la pornografía infantil, afirma ONU

Marta Santos Pais-La cooperación internacional es clave

La Representante Especial del Secretario General sobre violencia contra los niños, Marta Santos Pais, recomendó hoy una mayor cooperación internacional para luchar contra las redes y los individuos que utilizan las nuevas tecnologías para distribuir pornografía infantil.

Presentation of the First Report on Child Pornography by the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children in the Netherlands


Protection of children from sexual violence cannot solely be provided by a reactive approach. Protection also means: preventing offences, identifying and registering offenders and victims, providing assistance to victims and after-care for offenders. This requires cooperation and partnership between government institutions, non-governmental organisations and private parties.

International Expert Consultation to Address Harmful Practices Against Children - Adis-Ababa, Ethiopia

13/06/2012 - 15/06/2012

The Consultation was co-organized by Plan International, the Office of the SRSG on Violence against Children and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and focused on the sharing of good legislative examples, taking into account possible risks and backlashes in countries where law reform combined with effective enforcement, awareness-raising and social mobilization has given positive results in addressing deeply rooted social conventions and promoting the abandonment of harmful practices against children.

Particular attention should be given to less known or emerging harmful practices. Amongst significant legislative developments, attention was specifically given to:

SRSG visits Ghana to participate in the Youth Network Forum


Commemorating the first anniversary of her mandate, SRSG Santos Pais met in Ghana with more than 80 children from the West African region, to assess the impact of violence on their lives and about ways of promoting children’s participation to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, and to ensure children’s voices are heard in the follow up process to the UN Study on Violence against Children.


SRSG on Violence against Children participates as key note speaker in side events during the Commission on the Status of Women

Plan girl delegate Fatmata from Sierra Leone - Marta Santos Pais - Mariane Pearl

The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is being held at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York, until Friday, 9 March 2012. This year’s priority theme is “The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges”. The emerging issue for this session is “Engaging young women and men, girls and boys, to advance gender equality”.

The SRSG participated on 28 February in a side event on "Ending the Silence: The impact of Early and Forced Marriage on Rural Girls”.