SRSG and ENOC strenghten cooperation on children's freedom from violence


In the course of the annual meeting of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), SRSG Marta Santos Pais and ENOC further enhanced their strategic collaboration to prevent and address all forms of violence against children.

To reaffirm this partnership, a joint statement was issued setting out common areas of action over the coming years. ENOC also issued a separate statement, outlining the detailed actions it proposes to take to tackle violence against children in Europe.

SRSG Santos Pais commended ENOC for choosing the elimination of violence against children as a priority and encouraged its members to support and promote the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Joint statement on Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child - Somalia becomes 196th State Party to the Convention


NEW YORK, 2 October 2015 – “Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a significant and very welcome step toward realizing the rights of the country's 6.5 million children.

“The children of Somalia face enormous challenges. Somalia today has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world, alarming malnutrition rates, and very high levels of violence affecting children.  

“By becoming the 196th nation to ratify the Convention, Somalia has committed to uphold the dignity and worth of every child and translate the obligations of the CRC into concrete actions, especially for those children in greatest need and at greatest risk.

A world as big as children's dreams

A world as big as children's dreams

As from today, ending violence against children is part of the 2030 sustainable development agenda! We want to celebrate this historic moment with governments, organisations and individuals that have made this possible and call on each and every one of them to keep this commitment at the heart of their work, and to translate it into tangible change for children the world over. At this auspicious moment, we want to congratulate and thank all the children who are passionately and fiercely raising their voices and working hard to transform the world into the place they are dreaming of, a world free from violence. Above all, our minds and hearts are with the millions of children who live in fear and pain. We cannot fail them. Ending violence against children is a human rights imperative and a goal within our reach. It will take vision, determination, courage, perseverance and togetherness to get there.

Protecting children from online abuse is everybody's business!

Protecting children from online abuse is everybody's business!
In the lead up to the Human Rights Council 2016 full-day debate on "information and communication technology (ICT) and child sexual exploitation," the Government of Belgium hosted on 15 September, in cooperation with SRSG Santos Pais and UNICEF, a high level panel event to strengthen public-private partnerships for the protection of children from on line sexual abuse and to ensure the implementation of a safe, inclusive and empowering digital agenda for children.

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.

SRSG welcomes launch of Nigerian Data Survey on Violence against Children


Findings from the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey were released in Abuja on 10th September 2015 unveiling the first nationally representative data on the prevalence of sexual, physical, and emotional violence among girls and boys in the country. 

"The data produced by this groundbreaking survey are vital to support government policy, planning and budgeting for effective child protection services, and to inform the implementation of evidence-based actions for violence prevention and response across a range of sectors", said SRSG Santos Pais. 

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the decision by senior traditional leader to annul 330 child marriages in Malawi


SRSG Santos Pais joins UNICEF and UN Women in welcoming the decision made by Senior Chief Kachindamoto to annul 330 child marriages in Malawi.

“This decision shows local leadership supporting children's universal aspirations. It is an exemplary decision that should inspire other traditional leaders in Malawi and beyond”, said the SRSG Santos Pais. “I look forward to continuing joining efforts with the government of Malawi and its traditional leaders as well as with UN Women and UNICEF to further advance the protection of children from violence”, she added.

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes launch of UN stamps on ending violence against children

UNPA Stamp - author Chris Sharp

New York, 20 August 2015- The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued six new stamps to raise awareness about ending violence against children and to support the work of the United Nations to support the protection of children from violence.

The stamp designs address the themes of sexual violence against children, child marriage, child trafficking, armed violence, gender-based violence and child labour.

UN child rights committee and UN Special Representative on Violence against Children condemn Shafqat Hussein execution


GENEVA/NEW YORK (5 August 2015) – The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children have condemned the execution in Pakistan of Shafqat Hussein, who was reportedly 14 years old when he was convicted of murder.

“The execution of Shafqat Hussein is regrettable and in flagrant contravention of Pakistan’s national and international obligations,” said Committee Chair Benyam Dawit Mezmur.

“This execution is deeply saddening and goes against Pakistan’s commitments to children’s rights. Pakistan was one of the main supporters of the World Summit for Children in 1990, and was amongst the first states to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Special Representative Marta Santos Pais.

Children’s protection from violence gains further ground with legislative developments in Africa and Europe to ensure conformity with international and regional human rights standards


SRSG welcomes amendments to Malawi’s Constitution banning marriage before the age of 18 andto Lithuania’s Law on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child prohibiting corporal punishment against children
Globally, Malawi is among the countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Recent data shows nearly 1 in 2 girls are married before age 18, with debilitating and often long-term consequences, including increased risk of suffering violence and abuse and compromising their right to education and health.
In February 2015, the Government of Malawi enacted the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act (MDFRA). The act banned marriage for any person below the age of 18 but legal exceptions remained foreseen in the Malawian Constitution, which allowed 15-17 year olds to marry upon parental consent.