Ending violence against children: a shared commitment of faith communities across the world inspired by the voice of children


Panama City, 9 May 2017 – In her keynote speech to the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children, devoted to the theme of ending violence against children, the SRSG welcomed the strong commitment of participants to use the special role of religions in society to help bring violence to an end. In her statement delivered at the opening of the Forum, the SRSG recalled that no religious teaching or tradition justifies any form of violence against children, a message that was echoed by leaders from across many faiths who spoke at the Forum, as well as the young representatives from the Children's Pre-forum Meeting.

On Anti-Bullying Day, SRSG calls for accelerated action to bring an end to this torment in children’s lives


Protecting children from bullying and other forms of violence at school is not just an ethical imperative or a laudable aim of education policy: it is a question of human rights.

As we know well, violence in schools compromises children’s rights to protection from discrimination, to an inclusive and relevant education, to the highest attainable standard of health, to the right to be heard, and to have children’s best interests regarded as a primary consideration in all decisions affecting their lives. These are rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in force in virtually all countries of the world.


Protection of children from armed violence in the community


1. Introduction

Armed violence in the community compromises children’s rights and is associated with serious risks for their
development and safety, causing children to be injured, disabled, traumatized, exploited, orphaned, imprisoned and at times killed. Living in a community affected by armed violence has consequences for children who are targeted as well as those who witness or feel threatened by such an environment. Armed violence disrupts social harmony and family life, interrupts schooling, compromises health care, undermines economic development and generates fear which limits children’s ability to move freely, participate in
the life of their community, enjoy childhood and develop as empowered citizens.

Violencia armada, crimen organizado e impunidad son los riesgos que enfrentan los niños en las zonas urbano marginales


Quito, 19 de octubre de 2016 – "La violencia armada, el crimen organizado, la debilidad de las leyes y la impunidad son los riesgos que enfrentan los niños de las zonas urbano marginales, riesgos que ponen en peligro sus derechos humanos fundamentales", dijo Marta Santos Pais, Representante Especial del Secretario General sobre la violencia contra los niños, en la presentación del informe: “La Protección de las niñas, niños y adolescentes afectados por la violencia armada en la comunidad”.

SRSG Santos Pais gathers experts from around the world on children’s protection from bullying and cyberbullying


SRSG Santos Pais convened a consultation with experts from around the world on the prevention and elimination of bullying and cyberbullying in preparation of the Report of the Secretary-General on Protecting Children from Bullying, called for by General Assembly resolution 69/158. Hosted with UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, the consultation took place in Florence on 9-10 May.

Guided by the SRSG priorities to consolidate knowledge and accelerate progress in children’s freedom from violence, the meeting provided a strategic opportunity to review laws, policies and initiatives on children’s protection from bullying and cyberbullying, as well as available data and evidence on this important phenomenon.


SRSG renews call for an empowering, inclusive and safer Internet


(New York – 9 February) Speaking on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, renewed her call to ensure that the empowerment of children is at the heart of building a safer and more inclusive Internet:

“Information and communications technologies evolve and spread at a phenomenal speed. This evolution represents an amazing opportunity, which more and more children are availing of to learn, play, create, socialize, and express themselves. However, without determined and coordinated action, millions of children will continue to be excluded from the benefits of the Internet; child victims of on-line violence, abuse and exploitation will continue to multiply; and impunity for these offences will go unchecked.

SRSG Santos Pais participates in the launch of Nigeria's Violence against Children Survey

20/02/2016 - 25/02/2016
SRSG Santos Pais visits Abuja and Lagos to support the launch of the Government’s Violence against Children Survey and efforts to implement the Nigerian Year of Action to End Violence Against Children. She will hold discussions with senior officials of the Government of Nigeria and other key stakeholders on the importance of using data and research to shed light on the hidden face of violence and to implement evidence-based policies and campaigns to end violence against children.  

SRSG Santos Pais adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDviolence against children with disabilities

SRSG Santos Pais adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDviolence against children

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.