Special Representative Santos Pais welcomes ratification of United Arab Emirates of Optional Protocol on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, welcomes the recent accession by the United Arab Emirates to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
 “By becoming a State Party to this Protocol, the United Arab Emirates make a crucial step to strengthen children’s protection from sexual exploitation. It also supports international cooperation efforts to prevent very serious crimes and to fight the impunity that surrounds them. As we start the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, I trust this excellent news will mobilize further and determined action in the region in support of the targets aiming at ending violence against children.” said SRSG Santos Pais.

SRSG Santos Pais warmly welcomes the passage by the Mongolian Parliament – the State Great Hural – of the 2016 Law on the Rights of Children and the 2016 Law on Child Protection

The adoption of these two new laws is critical to secure children’s rights and very especially children’s right to protection from all forms of violence in all settings, including corporal punishment within the family. This is a significant step for Mongolia and constitutes an important reference for developments in other nations in the Eastern and South Eastern Asia region" stressed SRSG Santos Pais. 

SRSG Santos Pais joins South Asian countries to discuss SDGs and violence against children


Colombo, Sri-Lanka 16 March - Special Representative Santos Pais joined representatives from the eight countries in South Asia in a high-level roundtable to discuss and advance national and regional implementation of the violence against children related goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda.  

The meeting was organized by the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC), SAARC Apex Body with the support of ECPAT International and UNICEF, and was hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka.  

The meeting highlighted the global and universal nature of the new development agenda and the imperative for all countries to ensure progress for all children, with a priority attention to those further behind.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, supports launch of global initiative "High Time to End Violence Against Children"


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supported the launch of the High Time to End Violence against Children Initiative on Wednesday 9 March. In his message to the participants, the Secretary-General stressed that every child has the right to freedom from all forms of violence. This is not just common sense and basic morality; it is an international legal obligation, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty. 

SRSG Santos Pais takes leading role in the preparation of Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty


Following the General Assembly’s call for an in-depth global study on children deprived of liberty, SRSG Santos Pais organized a side event in close cooperation with Member States, United Nations agencies and offices and civil society organizations to mobilize political support and commitments to the development of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, joined the event and stressed the importance of giving voice to one of the most “invisible, vulnerable” groups in modern societies: children deprived of liberty.

“Like all children, these detainees need care and protection; they need opportunities, education and guidance yet conditions in places of detention are often poor and dangerous. Many facilities are overcrowded, unsanitary and lack adequate oversight and regulation.” stressed Mr. Eliasson.

“More than half of the world’s children exposed to violence” SRSG Santos Pais at presentation of annual report before the Human Rights Council


SRSG Santos Pais presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, 8 March 2016.

In her presentation, SRSG Santos Pais celebrated progress in the promotion of children’s protection from violence through legislation highlighting that the number of countries across regions with a comprehensive legal ban on violence had more than tripling.

Violence against children is also receiving more attention, with an increasing number of national surveys capturing the magnitude of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children

Preventing child sexual exploitation and enhancing children's protection through information and communication technologies - top concern in Human Rights Council session


SRSG Santos Pais moderated a highly participative debate on national, regional and international initiatives to empower children through information and communication technologies (ICTs). The panel was part of the Human Rights Council annual full day on the Rights of Child and provided an opportunity to discuss effective ways to enhance children’s protection from child sexual exploitation both online and offline.

SRSG Santos Pais Welcomes China’s Anti-Family Violence Law


The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais welcomes the coming into effect on 1 March 2016 of the new Anti-Family Violence Law of the People’s Republic of China. The new law is a significant milestone in the recognition, prevention and response to violence against children, including within the family. The law prohibits domestic physical and emotional violence and provides a range of remedies for its victims, while requiring mandatory reporting and response by officials who become aware of incidents of family violence.

SRSG supports Nigeria Year of Action to End Violence against Children


Lagos, Nigeria -  The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, conducted a week-long visit to Nigeria in support of the Year of Action to End Violence against Children, launched by the President of Nigeria in September 2015 in response to the findings of a comprehensive national survey on violence against children. As a key contribution to this process SRSG Santos Pais participated in the launch of the Lagos State campaign to end violence against children.

Lagos State is the first to respond to President Buhari’s call for all States to launch their own specific campaigns to end violence against children to address the concerns identified by the national data survey.