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SRSG Santos Pais participates in Council of Europe High-Level Conference "Reaching the heights for the rights of the child" - Sofia, Bulgaria 5-6 April 2016
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais welcomes the coming into effect on 1 March 2016 of the new Anti-Family Violence Law of the People’s Republic of China. The new law is a significant milestone in the recognition, prevention and response to violence against children, including within the family. The law prohibits domestic physical and emotional violence and provides a range of remedies for its victims, while requiring mandatory reporting and response by officials who become aware of incidents of family violence.
SRSG dialogue with ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children calls for implementation of regional priority actions for the elimination of violence against children 2016-2020
Jakarta, Indonesia - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais has completed a week long mission to Jakarta where she held a series of policy dialogues with the Deputy-Secretary General of ASEAN for the Socio-Cultural Community, the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the Government of Indonesia.
SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the adoption of new legislation in Peru to prohibit physical and humiliating punishment of children
SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the adoption by the National Congress of Peru of a new law to secure children’s protection from violence on the occasion of the celebration of International Human Rights Day (December 10, 2015).
“Children have an inalienable right to respect for their dignity and physical integrity and to legal protection from all forms of violence. This historic decision highlights the strong commitment of Peru to implement its international legal obligations and the recommendations of the UN Study on Violence against Children”, stressed SRSG Santos Pais.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, SRSG Santos Pais calls for an end to violence against children with disabilities and adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDViolence against Children with Disabilities.
There are at least 93 million children with disabilities around the world. Many are considered to be a cause of shame to their families and a curse and misfortune for their communities. The lives of children with disabilities can be surrounded by stigma, discrimination, cultural prejudices, ill-perceptions and shocking invisibility. In addition, children with disabilities are at dramatically heightened risk of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation.
In spite of limited data and research, available studies reveal an alarming prevalence of violence against children with disabilities – from higher vulnerability to physical and emotional violence when they are young to greater risks of sexual violence as they reach puberty.
Marking the first European Day against Sexual Violence on 18 November, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children welcomed this important initiative by the Council of Europe. The European Day against Sexual Violence will help to raise public awareness of children's protection from sexual abuse and exploitation, while strengthening prevention initiatives and promoting the ratification and implementation of the Council's Lanzarote Convention. Special Representative Santos Pais commends the efforts of the Council of Europe, including through the ONE in FIVE Campaign which aims to achieve further ratification and implementation of the treaty.
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 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.