SRSG - Word of Welcome

I am honoured to have been appointed by the Secretary-General as his Special Representative on Violence against Children, and I am deeply committed to collaborating closely with all relevant stakeholders for the implementation of my mandate.

The past two decades have been marked by significant change in the promotion of the rights of the child and in the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation. Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other important international child rights standards, laws, policies and institutions have been developed to protect children’s rights; important advocacy initiatives have been promoted; and wider awareness has been raised of the many risks that hinder children’s development and safety.

Violence is one such hampering factor and remains a harsh reality for millions of children around the world. The imperative to protect children from violence calls for urgent action. Violence takes place in all contexts, including where children are expected to enjoy a secure environment and special protection - in care institutions, in the school and within the home. Violence hurts when it happens and leaves dramatic scars and lifelong consequences, impairing children’s development, learning abilities and school performance.

Protection of children against violence can only be efficient if it is done in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, such as United Nations partners, civil society including children and young people, national governments, regional organizations, parliamentarians and national independent institutions on children’s rights. Our task is critical and we must move ahead with a sense of urgency and impatience.