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

17/02/2017

SRSG welcomes amendments to Malawi’s Constitution banning marriage before the age of 18 and to 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.

SRSG report to the Human Rights Council urges accelerated progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to build a world free from violence for all children

13/01/2017

Children’s protection from violence is a legal and ethical imperative and it is also a distinct priority in the global sustainable development agenda. Ensuring progress in implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda targets on violence against children needs to be at the heart of the policy agenda of every nation. But to achieve this goal, leadership and accountability are of the essence and in all actions it is vital to honour the pledge of leaving no child behind. Children on the move, especially those who are unaccompanied or separated from their families, are amongst those for whom the ambitious vision of Agenda 2030 remains distant and illusory. It is crucial to transform the continuum of violence that shapes their lives into a continuum of protection, highlighted SRSG Santos Pais.

SRSG welcomes launch of new five-year National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania

10/01/2017

The Special Representative welcomes the launch of a new National Plan of Action to end Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania which builds on the country's initial response to the findings of the Violence Against Children data survey carried out in 2009 to advance implementation of the recommendations made by the UN Study in Violence against Children.

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes adoption of new law in France banning violence against children

28/12/2016

SRSG Santos Pais commends the French parliament for passing the Equality and Citizenship bill which promotes the ending of violence against children including corporal punishment.

On Thursday, 22 December, a final vote was taken on Article 68 of the “Egalité et Citoyenneté” (Equality and Citizenship) bill, which states that the exercise of parental authority must exclude "any cruel, degrading or humiliating treatment, including corporal punishment".

Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on International Migrants Day

18/12/2016

New York, 18 December 2016 - "On International Migrants Day it is imperative to stand up for the rights of migrant children, especially for those who are traveling unaccompanied or separated from their families. It is crucial to transform the continuum of violence that shapes their lives into a continuum of protection of their fundamental rights", stressed SRSG Santos Pais

Time and time again, children’s decision to leave their communities has become an escape strategy to secure their safety and protection, to reach a safe haven from political instability, conflict, violence and exploitation. 

Indeed, for children on the move, violence infuses daily life: fear is widespread and there is a profound sense of insecurity and impunity.

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

06/12/2016

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

03/12/2016

“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

30/11/2016

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.