SRSG welcomes launch of the National Baseline Study on Violence against Children in the Philippines


SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the release of the first national survey on violence against children by the Philippine Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF. Though deeply saddened by the details of the data, which reveals that 8 in 10 children in the Philippines suffer some form of violence in childhood, the SRSG commends the Government for conducting this ground-breaking survey and committing to a policy response.

“This study is yet another outstanding example of how research can bring to light the hidden reality of violence in children’s daily lives and it lays the foundation for the development of an evidence-based national plan of action to address the issue”, said the SRSG.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: SRSG Santos Pais calls for an end to all forms of violence against children with disabilities


“Whether it happens in families or in the community, in schools or online, violence against children with disabilities must come to an end,” said SRSG Santos Pais. “In spite of limited data and research on this issue, 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.”

SRSG VAC organizes international conference on crime prevention and reintegration of children in contact with the law: contributions to the UN Global Study on children deprived of liberty


From November 28-29, in Santiago de Chile, the “International Conference on Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Children in contact with the Law ” took place. This event was co-organized by the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the National Council for Children of the Government of Chile; the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children (SRSG VAC) and UNICEF Chile.

This event was sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) and it was designed as a concrete contribution to the elaboration of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, particularly in identifying innovative practices and policies that aim at avoiding the deprivation of children’s liberty. 

27th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child - UN child rights experts* urge Governments to ensure universal implementation


Geneva / New York – On November 20, as the Convention on the Rights of the Child commemorates its 27th anniversary, UN child rights experts* urge Governments in all regions to spare no efforts to ensure universal implementation of the most widely ratified human rights instrument.

SRSG Santos Pais calls for urgent action to end all forms of sexual violence against children, within and across borders


On the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, SRSG Santos Pais highlighted the central role of States, as well as families, teachers, law enforcement officials and other community members to raise awareness and mobilize action to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

“The European Day is a momentous occasion to reaffirm our commitment to discuss and address the many risks children face and to feel reignited in our resolve to combat any form of sexual violence of children, by informing parents and empowering children to prevent and respond to these serious human rights violations, by supporting child victims to access safe and age sensitive institutions for redress, recovery and reintegration; and by enhancing the capacity of professionals and helping to fight impunity” said SRSG Santos Pais.

His Holiness Pope Francis calls on the international community to protect children from violence and maltreatment


At the end of the General Audience in the Vatican on 16 November, His Holiness Pope Francis appealed to the conscience of all, of institutions and families, to ensure the protection of children from violence. The appeal was made in view of the celebration of the International Day of Children's Rights, on November 20th.

In his message, Pope Francis prayed for the protection of children who are victims of slavery, recruitment by armed groups and maltreatment. His Holiness called on the international community to be vigilant and safeguard children's lives, to ensure the right of every boy and girl to school and education, to enable them to grow up serene and with confidence in the future.

The original message from His Holiness Pope Francis can be found here


SRSG welcomes Call to Action to end crimes and extreme violence against children in Africa


SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the Call to Action to End Crimes and Extreme Violence against Children adopted by the International Policy Conference on the Rights of the Child, organized by the African Child Policy Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With the participation of policy makers, researchers, religious leaders, civil society organizations, child rights experts and the media from around the African continent, this biennial conference shed light on the often fatal forms of violence that children face as a result of discriminatory and harmful beliefs and practices towards particularly marginalised and vulnerable children. Serious cases of infanticides, and attacks on children with albinism or those accused of witchcraft, as well as needed actions to secure the protection of girls and boys deserved a special attention by participants from countries across the continent.

SRSG meets with delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss progress in ending violence against children


New York, 2 November 2016 – SRSG Santos Pais met with a delegation from the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to exchange information on their respective priorities and to identify opportunities for enhancing collaboration.

World Cities Day 2016 - Promoting safe and inclusive cities where every child can develop to their full potential, free from fear and from violence


On the commemoration of World Cities Day 2016, SRSG Santos Pais reaffirms her firm commitment to promote the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, adopted during the Habitat III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016.

“World Cities Day is a strategic occasion to mobilize support and translate into action the important commitments enshrined in the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. With strong leadership and steady investment in the implementation of these global agenda, the international community can ensure inclusive, safe, and child-friendly urban environments for all, leaving no child behind”, said Santos Pais.

SRSG concludes week-long visit to Malawi to support national efforts to end violence against children and promote the abandonment of harmful practices


On her second visit to Malawi, the Special Representative met senior government officials, traditional leaders, and representatives from civil society and development agencies to support national efforts to end violence against children, including harmful practices. The visit provided a strategic opportunity to assess progress in the implementation of the policy agenda developed by the Government in response to the findings of the survey on violence against children launched last year. The visit also helped focus national attention on the high prevalence of child marriages, as well as the abuse associated with sexual initiation ceremonies, and attacks against children with albinism.