SRSG welcomes commitment to tackle impunity for witchcraft related human rights violations and to children's protection from violence


To strengthen children's protection from violence and prevent associated risks, the Office of the Special Representative co-organized an international workshop in Geneva with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network and Lancaster University.

States' representatives, alongside UN experts, academics and civil society organizations shared important experiences to raise awareness and enhance multi-stakeholder action to prevent and address witchcraft and related violence and harmful practices, building on and consolidating critical work done on this issue across regions.

SRSG Santos Pais highlights importance of children as agents of change in session to honour the legacy of Janus Korczak

SRSG Santos Pais joined the 8th International Janus Korczak Child Rights Congress in Warsaw as keynote speaker on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the last road of Janusz Korczak and children from the Orphans Home in Warsaw. 
The session was hosted by the University Maria Grzegorzewska in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsman for Children in Poland, and brought together child rights experts and academia from around the world.
Ms. Santos Pais praised the vision of Mr. Korczak for inspiring the international community to count on children as a resource and agents of change. 

SRSG-VAC office joins high level panel on implementation of national policies to end violence against children


New York, 19 September - The office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children joined a ministerial level panel discussion on ending violence against children organized by the Governments of Maldives, Estonia and Nigeria during the high level segment of the United Nations General Assembly.

“We commend the Governments of Maldives, Estonia and Nigeria for recognizing violence against children as a priority in their policy agenda and for hosting this important meeting during the high-level week of the General Assembly,” said the representative of the SRSG office at the event.

The meeting provided an important platform to share lessons from the process of implementation of national policies and programs to enhance the protection of children from violence.

SRSG calls for steady investment in early childhood to promote the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence


To promote the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, the President of the General Assembly hosted a High Level Forum “Sowing the Seeds of the Culture of Peace: Early Childhood Development is the Beginning”, at UN Headquarters, New York.

In her remarks to the Forum, SRSG Santos Pais highlighted that investment in early childhood is crucial both to ensure children's development and to build peaceful and inclusive societies around the world. "Early childhood is where everything starts and it is also where investment can achieve the highest returns.”

Special Representative welcomes new Zanzibar Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children


Special Representative Santos Pais welcomes the launch of the New Zanzibar Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children, 2017-2022. The National Plan 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 on Violence against Children. It represents the culmination of a very comprehensive process of consultation and collaboration between government, UN agencies, development partners, NGOs and civil society stakeholders in developing a strategic framework that provides an overall vision and costed set of agreed actions to address violence against women and children in Zanzibar.

SRSG hails increased visibility given to children’s rights in the High Level Political Forum Ministerial Declaration


SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the greater visibility given to the promotion and protection of children’s rights, including their right to freedom from all forms of violence, in the Ministerial Declaration of the 2017 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

“The HLPF is an important opportunity to place children at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. The Declaration reaffirms the commitment of the international community to children, especially in ending poverty, ensuring healthy lives, achieving gender equality, promoting child participation, and eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination, including harmful practices. Only by placing children first in actions to implement the 2030 Agenda and investing in all dimensions of their wellbeing including a protective environment, can we realize its vision of a world free from fear and from violence” said Santos Pais.

Placing Children at the Heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda


Joining a conversation with leaders during the High Level Political Forum, SRSG calls for sound investment in children to end child poverty and violence against children, stressing that "the best way to leave no child behind is to place children first".

SRSG Santos Pais today joined a high-level side-event where leaders discussed the intersection between ending poverty and violence against children and their crucial contribution to the achievement of the SDGs. The event was jointly hosted by the SRSG, UNICEF, the Governments of Indonesia and Sweden and high profile speakers included the President of Chile, the Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning, the Swedish Minister of Public Administration and the Minister for Social Affairs of Chile.

Day of the African Child: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030


The Special Representative welcomes the 2017 theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) on accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for all children in Africa by 2030.

Over two years ago, the global sustainable development agenda was unanimously adopted by Member States of the United Nations to uphold the rights, dignity and worth of each and every child. The vision of the Agenda is aligned with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and the African Agenda for Children 2040 which seeks to invest in children and ensure that every child grows up free from all forms of violence and develops to their full potential. 

Safeguarding the rights and protection of child victims and witnesses of violence through Children’s Houses


SRSG Santos Pais joined representatives from the European Union, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, governments, ombuds, civil society and Children’s Houses in the launch of PROMISE- the European Barnahus Movement. 

The impact of violence against children in Europe is worrying – every year across the European region, at least 18 million suffer from sexual abuse; 44 million from physical abuse; and 55 million from mental abuse. In her statement, SRSG Santos Pais stressed that “shocking as these figures may be, they are an underestimation and it is believed that 90% of child maltreatment may go unnoticed.”

International Albinism Awareness Day: More than ever before, children with albinism need us


Attacks against children with albinism are not limited by geographic borders. In many countries, particularly in Africa, children with albinism are often perceived as ghosts, a curse, a cause of shame to the family, and a misfortune to the community. Social and structural discrimination condemns these children to a position of extreme vulnerability and to tolerance of violence against them simply because they look different.

Children with albinism are often the target of witchcraft accusations which leads to their body parts being used for ritual purposes, in some cases fuelling incidents of trafficking and sale of children.