Annual report to the Human Rights Council - 2015
The present annual report reviews, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 68/147, key initiatives promoted by the Special Representative. It builds on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the shaping of the post-2015 development agenda, and highlights the potential and risks associated with children’s use of new information and communication technologies.
1. 2014 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provided significant opportunities to mobilize enhanced support for children’s protection from violence. During the year, three important processes gained special relevance for children and countries across regions.
2. First, the commemorative events held around the world confirmed that the values and principles of the Convention remain a crucial reference for shaping national laws and policies, and generating positive change in attitudes and behaviours towards children’s protection. The anniversary of the Convention helped to generate valuable information campaigns to raise awareness of the long-lasting impact of violence on children’s development and well-being, deepening understanding of how and why children are affected by violence. The anniversary also helped to set in motion concerted efforts to enact and enforce legislation, implement comprehensive policy agendas, gather data and consolidate institutions to safeguard children’s care and protection.
3. Second, the international community has made progress in shaping the global development agenda beyond 2015, aiming at a future free from poverty and violence. As the Secretary-General highlights in his report “The Road to dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet”, “we are on the threshold of the most important year of development since the founding of the United Nations itself … With this extraordinary process and the unprecedented leadership that it has witnessed, we have an historic opportunity and duty to act, boldly, vigorously and expeditiously, to turn reality into a life of dignity for all, leaving no one behind” (para. 161). The best way to avoid leaving children behind is to put them first.
4. Third, the present report pays special attention to the rapid development of information and communication technologies and their impact on the way children learn, communicate, play and more generally, relate to the world. Alongside the role technology can play in supporting children’s development and protection, the report highlights potential risks for children’s well-being and freedom from violence.
5. The report also addresses emerging concerns, focusing on the risk of violence for girls involved with the criminal justice system as victims and witnesses, and when deprived of liberty.