Placing children at the heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda: accelerating progress in children’s protection from violence


Manila, Philippines - SRSG Santos Pais highlights importance of cross-regional cooperation to prevent and eliminate violence against children at Seventh Cross-Regional Round Table.

The Seventh Cross-Regional Round Table on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Children was hosted by the SRSG and the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), during its 50th anniversary under the chairmanship of the Philippines, from 6-8 June, in Manila. It included high-level participation by representatives from regional organizations and institutions from across the world and focussed on investing in children and accelerating progress in their protection from violence as a key dimension of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

SRSG calls for strong investment in international aid to end violence against children


SRSG Santos Pais joined partners in the launch of a new study, the first of its kind to review Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations to end violence against children. The report Counting Pennies highlights that in 2015, total ODA spending to address violence against children amounts to less than US$1.1 billion – or 0.6 per cent of total ODA.

SRSG Santos Pais co-hosts launch of new publication “Protecting Children against Torture in Detention: Global Solutions for A Global Problem”


SRSG Santos Pais joined the Washington College of Law, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland, Disability Rights International and Human Rights Watch in hosting the UN launch of the new publication Protecting Children against Torture in Detention: Global Solutions for a Global Problem. With contributions by more than thirty international children’s rights experts, the book seeks to strengthen the protection of children deprived of liberty from torture and other forms of violence.

Panama Declaration commits faith communities across the world to action on ending violence against children

I am delighted to add my support to the Panama Declaration on Ending Violence against Children adopted by over five hundred faith leaders from 70 countries at the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).

Ending violence against children: a shared commitment of faith communities across the world inspired by the voice of children


Panama City, 9 May 2017 – In her keynote speech to the 5th Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children, devoted to the theme of ending violence against children, the SRSG welcomed the strong commitment of participants to use the special role of religions in society to help bring violence to an end. In her statement delivered at the opening of the Forum, the SRSG recalled that no religious teaching or tradition justifies any form of violence against children, a message that was echoed by leaders from across many faiths who spoke at the Forum, as well as the young representatives from the Children's Pre-forum Meeting.

On Anti-Bullying Day, SRSG calls for accelerated action to bring an end to this torment in children’s lives


Protecting children from bullying and other forms of violence at school is not just an ethical imperative or a laudable aim of education policy: it is a question of human rights.

As we know well, violence in schools compromises children’s rights to protection from discrimination, to an inclusive and relevant education, to the highest attainable standard of health, to the right to be heard, and to have children’s best interests regarded as a primary consideration in all decisions affecting their lives. These are rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in force in virtually all countries of the world.

Children’s protection from violence gains further ground with new legislation in Malaysia and Brazil

SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the passing in Malaysia of the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 - The new law provides for stronger legal protection for children from sexual abuse and exploitation, including a clause that criminalises the grooming of children and significant provisions concerning child sexual abuse material. The new legislation also acknowledges children as competent witnesses in sexual crime cases. “The Sexual Offences against Children Bill, designed to protect all children under 18 years of age from sexual abuse and exploitation, is a welcome step in national efforts to protect children from violence. I commend the Government of Malaysia for enacting the new law and committing to its effective implementation” said Santos Pais.

SRSG Santos Pais commends Buddhist leaders’ commitment to help end violence against children


Bangkok, Thailand, 9 April 2017 – SRSG Santos Pais joined Buddhist leaders from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam to discuss the scale and impact of violence against children and how they could use their special position in society to help bring it to an end. The meeting was organized by Arigatou International, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and ECPAT International and focused on the role of Buddhist communities in preventing violence against children, in particular the sexual exploitation of children. During two days of discussion, participants identified some of the key challenges in preventing and responding to violence against children and ways in which they could use their leadership position within their communities to raise awareness and promote action.

SRSG Santos Pais calls for increased investment by the corporate sector in protection of children from violence


São Paulo, Brazil 4 April 2017 – SRSG Santos Pais joined leaders from business, government, civil society and academia at the 9th Global Child Forum in São Paulo Brazil. The Forum was devoted to the theme “investing in every child” aimed at identifying and sharing good practices to address some of the most pressing challenges facing children in the South American region.

SRSG Santos Pais called on the private sector to promote innovation and creativity in the protection of children’s rights.

 "To make a real difference we must move beyond principles and commitments towards implementation of practical responses that give young people real opportunities to thrive in life. Business accountability must start with the rights of the child and to their protection from violence.” said Ms. Santos Pais. 

SRSG Santos Pais calls for breaking the silence around the torment of bullying at UN screening of Québécois film “1:54”


New York, 30 March 2017– Speaking at the opening of the special screening of the French-Canadian movie “1:54” held at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York, SRSG Santos Pais commended the significant opportunity provided by this film to raise awareness of the painful reality of children’s exposure to bullying, which is still so often perceived as a rite of passage.

The film, shown during the month of La Francophonie, tells the story of Tim, a 16-year old timid yet brilliant student who suffers from bullying at school. It highlights the importance of addressing violence against children, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, a topic that is at the heart of the United Nations agenda.