SRSG renews call for an empowering, inclusive and safer Internet

09/02/2016

(New York – 9 February) Speaking on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, renewed her call to ensure that the empowerment of children is at the heart of building a safer and more inclusive Internet:

“Information and communications technologies evolve and spread at a phenomenal speed. This evolution represents an amazing opportunity, which more and more children are availing of to learn, play, create, socialize, and express themselves. However, without determined and coordinated action, millions of children will continue to be excluded from the benefits of the Internet; child victims of on-line violence, abuse and exploitation will continue to multiply; and impunity for these offences will go unchecked.

SRSG annual report to the Human Rights Council calls for accelerated global action to end violence against children

05/02/2016

The annual report of the SRSG-VAC to the Human Rights Council builds upon the decision by the General Assembly to renew the mandate of the Special Representative for a further period of three years, and upon the strategic opportunities provided by the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to accelerate progress in children’s protection from violence.

The report is issued in a momentous year for the protection of children from violence, as 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children and the start of implementation of the new global development agenda with its strategic target 16.2 on ending all forms of violence against children.

SRSG welcomes the ratification by Italy of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure

04/02/2016
"I warmly welcome today's ratification by Italy of this important child rights treaty. With this significant step, 25 countries have now ratified the the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure and 50 have signed it." said Marta Santos Pais at the signing ceremony.
 
The Protocol allows children to bring complaints to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on violations of their rights.
 
To support the process of ratification and to ensure that the protocol is understandable for children, the Office of the SRSG has developed an advocacy tool that is available here.
 

The Countdown to 2030 has started!

15/01/2016
 
2016 is a momentous year for the protection of children from violence: it marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children and the start of the process of implementation of the new global development agenda with its strategic target 16.2 towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children by 2030. 
 

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the adoption of new legislation in Peru to prohibit physical and humiliating punishment of children

10/12/2015

SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the adoption by the National Congress of Peru of a new law to secure children’s protection from violence on the occasion of the celebration of International Human Rights Day (December 10, 2015).

“Children have an inalienable right to respect for their dignity and physical integrity and to legal protection from all forms of violence. This historic decision highlights the strong commitment of Peru to implement its international legal obligations and the recommendations of the UN Study on Violence against Children”, stressed SRSG Santos Pais.

SRSG Santos Pais adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDviolence against children with disabilities

SRSG Santos Pais adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDviolence against children
03/12/2015

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, SRSG Santos Pais calls for an end to violence against children with disabilities and adds her voice to the Campaign to #ENDViolence against Children with Disabilities.

There are at least 93 million children with disabilities around the world. Many are considered to be a cause of shame to their families and a curse and misfortune for their communities. The lives of children with disabilities can be surrounded by stigma, discrimination, cultural prejudices, ill-perceptions and shocking invisibility. In addition, children with disabilities are at dramatically heightened risk of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation.

In spite of limited data and research, 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 welcomes adoption of ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children

SRSG welcomes adoption of ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Vi
23/11/2015

SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the adoption of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA/EVAC) by the 27th ASEAN Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Kuala Lumpur, on 21 November.

United Nations Secretary-General - Message on Universal Children's Day - 20 November 2015

19/11/2015

The Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the well-being and human rights of the world’s children, especially those suffering the impacts of poverty, armed conflict, discrimination and exploitation.  The date of the observance -- 20 November -- marks the day on which, in 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Today, we reaffirm our obligation to do everything in our power to enable all children to survive and thrive, learn and grow, have their voices heard and reach their full potential.

This year, I wish to emphasize the importance of ensuring that the commitments made by the international community to the world’s children are extended to a group of children who are often forgotten or overlooked: those deprived of their liberty.

Special Representative Santos Pais welcomes the European Day against Sexual Violence

European Day on the Protection of Children against sexual exploitation and abuse
18/11/2015

Marking the first European Day against Sexual Violence on 18 November, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children welcomed this important initiative by the Council of Europe. The European Day against Sexual Violence will help to raise public awareness of children's protection from sexual abuse and exploitation, while strengthening prevention initiatives and promoting the ratification and implementation of the Council's Lanzarote Convention. Special Representative Santos Pais commends the efforts of the Council of Europe, including through the ONE in FIVE Campaign which aims to achieve further ratification and implementation of the treaty.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children welcomes the historic abolition of the common law defence of reasonable chastisement in Ireland

11/11/2015

New York, 11 November 2015 - “Today, Ireland has taken a decisive step towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children. By abolishing the common law defence of reasonable chastisement, the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) have made an unequivocal statement: children’s dignity and physical integrity enjoy the effective protection of the law.

In taking this step, Ireland is contributing to the global movement towards a world where all children are free from violence. World leaders recently agreed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes an explicit target requiring all States to eliminate violence against children. Ireland played a pivotal role in negotiating the 2030 Agenda and it is heartening to see the Government and the Oireachtas take concrete action to make this a reality, in line with Ireland’s international human rights obligations.