Discriminated and made vulnerable: Young LGBT and intersex people need recognition and protection of their rights - For International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (Sunday 17 May)


13 May 2015 –Speaking ahead of the International Dayagainst Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts* call for an end to discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people and children.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a group of UN human rights experts, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urge Governments worldwide to protect these young people and children from violence and discrimination, and to integrate their views on policies and laws that affect their rights.

SRSG Santos Pais visits Chile

SRSG Santos Pais visits Chile - Copyright UNICEF Chile

SRSG Santos Pais participated in Chile in High level Meetings for the development of comprehensive legislation for the protection of children's rights, including a legal prohibition of all forms of violence against children. The legislation will be supported by a national policy framework to advance effective implementation.

Recognizing the urgency of this process, President Michelle Bachelet announced that the new comprehensive legal framework will be submitted to Congress in August 2015 and will include the establishment of an independent institution on the rights of the child (Ombuds office) as well as procedures to seek remedies in case of violation of children's rights.

“Let’s pave the way to justice for all children” - First anniversary of the UN communications procedure for children marks time for global action


Geneva/New York (April 14, 2015) - As we celebrate the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure, the International Coalition Ratify OP3CRC, together with leading UN experts on children’s rights, including Kirsten Sandberg, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, and on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, as well as the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, call on all States to make a quantum leap on the path to justice for children through the ratification of the Third Optional Protocol without delay.

Senate of Chile approves the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and joins global efforts to strengthening international and national child protection systems on children's rights

UNICEF photo Chile

The National Institute of Human Rights of Chile, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, the Regional Office for South America of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF welcome the decision by the Senate of Chile to unanimously approve the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will soon enter into force.

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 visited 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 held 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.