When the United Nations adopted The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 it committed to strive for a world guided by human rights, a world that is just, equitable and inclusive, and free from...
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.
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.
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.
On Sunday, 2 August, the Member States of the United Nations agreed the final text of “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the post 2015 outcome document for adoption at the UN Summit in September in New York. The vision in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of “a world free of fear and violence”, and the significant new goals and targets towards ending all forms of violence against children are a rallying call to urgent action.
Financing for Development requires move in resources from billions to trillions - savings from ending violence against children will be a crucial contribution
Addis Ababa, 13 July 2015 - SRSG Santos Pais co-hosted with Unicef an event at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where a Global Partnership and associated Fund to end violence against children was announced. This new initiative seeks to mobilize the resources needed to deliver on Target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDG) to “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.”
The Global Partnership is expected to mobilize wide cross regional support for the implementation of the SDGs related to violence against children, and a vehicle to galvanize greater investment in solutions to reduce violence in the lives of children, as well as to generate new and greater funding.
Marta Santos Pais urges Panama to guarantee the rights of children and to consolidate children’s protection from violence
On 9-10 July, during her official visit to Panama, SRSG Marta Santos Pais met with high level national authorities to discuss progress achieved by the Government of Panama to safeguard the rights of children and young people.
SRSG Santos Pais met with the Minister of Social Development, Alcibíades Vásquez, Deputy Minister of Government, Maria Luisa Romero, Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation, María Luisa Navarro, amongst other government officials in regards to the developments achieved in the juvenile justice system in the country, as well as in relation to the drafting process of a comprehensive national legal framework for the protection of children and adolescents.
SRSG Santos Pais concludes a two-day international consultation on the Protection of Children from Armed Violence in the Community
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, in cooperation with UNICEF and the Government of Honduras, convened an International Expert Consultation on Children’s Right to Protection from Armed Violence in the Community. Held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the meeting gathered representatives from national governments, UN agencies, regional organizations, research institutions and civil society; as well as children and young people.