SRSG joins launch of Study on Violence against Children in Malawi

SRSG joins launch of Study on Violence against Children in Malawi

Lilongwe, Malawi. 25th March 2015– 2 out of every 3 Malawians experience violence in childhood, 1 in every 5 girls were sexually abused before they celebrated their 18th birthday, and nearly 2 out of every 3 boys suffered physical violence before the age of 18, a violence against children and young women study launched today has revealed.

The study, Malawi’s first nationally representative examination of the problem of violence against children, looks at the experiences of sexual, physical and emotional violence. According to the report, violence against children has become a social norm in most communities across the country.

The lack of studies on violence against children and women in Malawi has been a major barrier towards effective action to combat the problem.  Currently on official visit to Malawi, the SRSG Santos Pais exhorted the government to use this new data to better prevent violence and protect children:

SRSG Santos Pais visits Malawi


SRSG Santos Pais is visiting Malawi from 22 – 26 March 2015 to support the launch of a new study, commissioned by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, on the prevalence of violence against children in the country. She will hold discussions with senior officials of the Government of Malawi, Parliamentarians and other key stakeholders, including civil society representatives, on the importance of using data and research to shed light on the hidden reality of violence against children and to implement an evidence-based policy agenda to protect children from all forms of violence.

SRSG promotes investment in prevention to End Violence against Children in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

SRSG promotes investment in prevention to End Violence against Children in the P

On the occasion of the Human Rights Council session, the SRSG joined a side event with the theme "2015 : towards better investment in the rights of the child" organised by the Working Group on Violence Against Children of Child Rights Connect.

The event aimed at stressing the importance of ensuring that prevention, protection and action to end violence against children becomes a priority in the post-2015 development agenda. 

"We see progress in the elimination of violence against children. But this is not good enough. For the Post-2015 agenda, children's message is loud and clear: violence compromises development and has to be brought to an end. It is important to act now to end violence against children because we will not get a similar chance for 15 years." said SRSG Santos Pais.

"Children Deprived of Liberty, a Global Perspective" Side event 28th Session Human Rights Council on 10 March, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Panel On Children Deprived of Liberty: A Global Call

SRSG Santos Pais joined other high UN officials and civil society in an event in the context of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council aiming at sharing information on the situation of children in detention worldwide in light of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty (A/RES/69/157).

Human Rights Council Session: SRSG Santos Pais calls for sustainable and effective action to address violence against children

SRSG at the Human Rights Council-28 Session


Geneva, 9-13 March 2015


"The elimination of violence against children cannnot be a dream of a few, it needs to be a cause for all", SRSG Santos Pais urged the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

SRSG Santos Pais presented in Geneva her annual report to the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council and participated in various debates and events taking place during this week, particularly focused on children’s rights and their protection from violence.


Santos Pais called governments and partners to:

"A call for an empowering, inclusive and safe digital environment for children" - Side Event 28th session Human Rights Council Monday, 9 March 12.00-2.30 Palais des Nations, Geneva

SRSG Marta Santos Pais Safe Internet HRC28

Jointly organised by the SRSG on violence against children and the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution, the event explored children’s engagement with ICTs and the opportunities and risks that this represents for children’s rights. Sponsors by the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and the United Kingdom, the event focused on ICTs and violence against children, in particular on-line sexual exploitation.

“Both offline and online, States have a leading responsibility in guaranteeing Children’s freedom from online violence and abuse. Securing their right to information, an effective remedy, recovery and reintegration are crucial dimensions of States’ accountability,” said SRSG Santos Pais.

SRSG Santos Pais highlighted the importance of the adoption of a comprehensive and well-resourced policy global agenda to prevent and address violence against children in the cyberspace.

ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children reiterates strong commitment to children's protection from violence

ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children Marta Santos Pais

SRSG Marta Santos Pais met in Jakarta with the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) to assess progress in the prevention and elimination of violence against children. During the dialogue held at ACWC 10th regular meeting, ASEAN Commissioners updated the SRSG on Violence against Children on the significant measures undertaken across the region to ensure children's protection from violence, including law reform to prohibit and address manifestations of violence, national surveys to capture the prevalence of this phenomenon, the promotion of guidelines on positive parenting, and consultations on cultural and religious practices impacting on the rights of children.

SRSG Santos Pais urges Indonesia to put in place strong mechanisms to end violence against children

SRSG Santos Pais and Planning Minister Andrinof Chaniago

Jakarta, Indonesia

During her visit this week to Jakarta, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Ms Marta Santos Pais, congratulated the Government of Indonesia for addressing violence against children in its new National Medium Term Development Plan (2015 – 2019).

“Violence against children is a global phenomenon. It happens in all countries and in all groups of society - including in Indonesia. It’s often hidden in plain sight, and in many cases socially condoned,” Ms. Santos Pais said. 

"But let’s be clear,” she added, “Violence against children is never justified and all violence against children can be effectively prevented. With strong political will, wide mobilization and steady action, it can be brought to an end.”

New Report on Violence against Children in Africa calls for accelerated efforts across the continent to protect children from violence

African Report on Violence against Children

A new report The African Report on Violence against Children was launched on 11th February at the United Nations in New York, in an event jointly organized by the African Union, the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children, the Permanent Mission of Zambia and the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF).

The report, conducted by ACPF, reveals that despite the significant legal and policy measures undertaken in the region to protect children, African girls and boys are subjected to high levels of physical, sexual and emotional violence across all levels of society.

This comprehensive report is the first of its kind in the region and builds upon the commitment by African Union Member States to promote an Africa Fit for Children, stressed Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children.

“Let’s connect for a safe, empowering and inclusive Internet”


GENEVA (9 February 2015) –Top United Nations experts on children’s rights and on freedom of expression join the voices of children, parents, teachers, policymakers, law enforcement, industry and civil society in their call to create a better and safe Internet.  

Speaking ahead of the global Safer Internet Day, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais; the Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio; and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, call on States and the IT industry to tackle head on online child sexual abuse and exploitation, while protecting the right to freedom of expression of both children and adults.