Safeguarding the rights and protection of child victims and witnesses of violence through Children’s Houses


SRSG Santos Pais joined representatives from the European Union, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, governments, ombuds, civil society and Children’s Houses in the launch of PROMISE- the European Barnahus Movement. 

The impact of violence against children in Europe is worrying – every year across the European region, at least 18 million suffer from sexual abuse; 44 million from physical abuse; and 55 million from mental abuse. In her statement, SRSG Santos Pais stressed that “shocking as these figures may be, they are an underestimation and it is believed that 90% of child maltreatment may go unnoticed.”

International Albinism Awareness Day: More than ever before, children with albinism need us


Attacks against children with albinism are not limited by geographic borders. In many countries, particularly in Africa, children with albinism are often perceived as ghosts, a curse, a cause of shame to the family, and a misfortune to the community. Social and structural discrimination condemns these children to a position of extreme vulnerability and to tolerance of violence against them simply because they look different.

Children with albinism are often the target of witchcraft accusations which leads to their body parts being used for ritual purposes, in some cases fuelling incidents of trafficking and sale of children.

Placing children at the heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda: accelerating progress in children’s protection from violence


Manila, Philippines - SRSG Santos Pais highlights importance of cross-regional cooperation to prevent and eliminate violence against children at Seventh Cross-Regional Round Table.

The Seventh Cross-Regional Round Table on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Children was hosted by the SRSG and the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), during its 50th anniversary under the chairmanship of the Philippines, from 6-8 June, in Manila. It included high-level participation by representatives from regional organizations and institutions from across the world and focussed on investing in children and accelerating progress in their protection from violence as a key dimension of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

SRSG calls for strong investment in international aid to end violence against children


SRSG Santos Pais joined partners in the launch of a new study, the first of its kind to review Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations to end violence against children. The report Counting Pennies highlights that in 2015, total ODA spending to address violence against children amounts to less than US$1.1 billion – or 0.6 per cent of total ODA.

SRSG Santos Pais co-hosts launch of new publication “Protecting Children against Torture in Detention: Global Solutions for A Global Problem”


SRSG Santos Pais joined the Washington College of Law, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland, Disability Rights International and Human Rights Watch in hosting the UN launch of the new publication Protecting Children against Torture in Detention: Global Solutions for a Global Problem. With contributions by more than thirty international children’s rights experts, the book seeks to strengthen the protection of children deprived of liberty from torture and other forms of violence.

Panama Declaration commits faith communities across the world to action on ending violence against children

I am delighted to add my support to the Panama Declaration on Ending Violence against Children adopted by over five hundred faith leaders from 70 countries at the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

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.

Children’s protection from violence gains further ground with new legislation in Malaysia and Brazil

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the passing in Malaysia of the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 - The new law provides for stronger legal protection for children from sexual abuse and exploitation, including a clause that criminalises the grooming of children and significant provisions concerning child sexual abuse material. The new legislation also acknowledges children as competent witnesses in sexual crime cases. “The Sexual Offences against Children Bill, designed to protect all children under 18 years of age from sexual abuse and exploitation, is a welcome step in national efforts to protect children from violence. I commend the Government of Malaysia for enacting the new law and committing to its effective implementation” said Santos Pais.

SRSG Santos Pais commends Buddhist leaders’ commitment to help end violence against children


Bangkok, Thailand, 9 April 2017 – SRSG Santos Pais joined Buddhist leaders from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam to discuss the scale and impact of violence against children and how they could use their special position in society to help bring it to an end. The meeting was organized by Arigatou International, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and ECPAT International and focused on the role of Buddhist communities in preventing violence against children, in particular the sexual exploitation of children. During two days of discussion, participants identified some of the key challenges in preventing and responding to violence against children and ways in which they could use their leadership position within their communities to raise awareness and promote action.