SRSG welcomes breakthrough in the prevention of violence against children
“The adoption of the Model Strategies on the Elimination of Violence against Children in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is a milestone in the world’s commitment towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children”, stressed SRSG Santos Pais.
Firmly anchored in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this landmark text was adopted at the May 2014 session of the UNODC Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and will be submitted to the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
“Through the adoption of this text, the United Nations is not only urging countries to take effective measures to prevent and eliminate violence against children. It is also providing all nations of the world with a practical tool to narrow the gap between children’s rights and the sad reality that millions of children continue to face“, said SRSG Santos Pais.
The text of the Model Strategies is framed by international human rights instruments and UN standards adopted in the field of the administration of justice, and informed by studies conducted in this field, including the joint report of OHCHR, UNODC and the SRSG on Violence against Children Prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system; the joint report by the SRSG and the Special Rapporteur on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; Child-sensitive counselling, complaint and reporting mechanisms to address violence against children; and the SRSG report Promoting Restorative Justice for Children.
The new Model Strategies aim to ensure the protection of the rights of the child and the child’s best interests in the administration of justice; that children in contact with the criminal justice system are treated in a child-sensitive manner and taking into account the specific needs of those children who are in particularly vulnerable situations.
States are urged to take all necessary and effective measures to prevent and respond to violence against children who come in contact with the justice system as victims, witnesses, or alleged or recognized offenders. National laws are required to be comprehensive and effective in prohibiting and eliminating all forms of violence against children. States are also requested to remove any barrier, including any kind of discrimination that children may face in accessing justice and in effectively participating in criminal proceedings.
The new model strategies were developed by a UN intergovernmental open-ended working group, co-chaired by the governments of Thailand and Austria. This process was supported by an Inter-Agency Advisory Group composed of the SRSG on Violence against Children, UNODC, UNICEF and OHCHR.