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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.
Reports Third Committee to the Pleenary (69th Session United Nations General Assembly) here
SRSG Santos Pais outlines four priority goals to reduce violence against children in the Pacific region
NADI, FIJI 20 May 2015 – SRSG Santos Pais praised Pacific leaders for their strong commitment to reduce the high rates of violence against children reported in the region.
During a three-day conference in Fiji that brought policy makers, civil society groups and government leaders from 13 Pacific countries together to discuss more effective ways to address violence against children in the region, Special Representative Santos Pais outlined an agenda to reverse a global, widespread, hidden and in many cases socially condoned pattern.
2015 International Day of Families Theme – “Men in Charge?” - Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Families
The theme of this year’s International Day of Families – “Men in Charge?” – highlights the importance of gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families. Around the world, more women are becoming recognized as the equal partners and decisionmakers in families that they should be, thus helping to ensure a conducive environment for the full and harmonious development of children. Yet in too many countries, discrimination against women and disregard for children’s rights remain built into family laws and Government policies, and prevailing social norms often condone and justify many discriminatory practices.
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.
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.
SRSG calls for the establishment of an Ombudsman for children to promote the best interests of the child and address violations of children’s rights
Berlin - At the launch of the 2014 UNICEF report “Every Child has Rights”, in Berlin, SRSG Santos Pais praised progress in the area of child protection, but recalled that many challenges persist a quarter-century after the adoption of the UN Convention on Rights of the Child. In this regard, the Special Representative highlighted the importance of establishing independent institutions for children’s rights as well as child sensitive counselling, reporting and complaint mechanisms to address violence against children as a key component of effective national strategies to safeguard children’s rights.