Children's Rights in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) bring an unprecedented opportunity to build on developments since the 2006 UN Study to end violence against children.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a set of 17 inter-related and mutually reinforcing Goals with a network of 169 related targets. For the very first time, the dignity of children and their right to live free from violence and from fear is recognized as a distinct priority on the international development agenda.
Achieving the goals, especially those related to education and health; gender equality and violence against women; child labour; poverty eradication; access to justice and accountable and inclusive institutions will help reduce the risk of violence in children’s lives and provide effective responses for child victims. But, failing to reach the targets related to violence against children – especially 16.2 – will compromise efforts in these areas, and hinder social and economic progress across the agenda.
To reflect the importance and urgency of their protection, children themselves called for the new agenda to explicitly incorporate freedom from violence. They highlighted that violence cut accross many goals and targets, but in addition needs to be envisaged as a standalone priority.
The adoption of target 16.2 by the United Nations was an historic breakthrough: the international community must now act to transform this momentum into an unstoppable movement towards a world free from fear and from violence for all children.
Here you will find more information about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, including my views on the key issues, and reports and links to relevant sites.
Accelerating implementation of SDG Target 16.2 and other related SDGs
The SRSG´s office prepared a briefing note aiming to support Member States as they prepare their voluntary national reviews (VNR) by highlighting how the SDGs and ending violence against children are closely linked. It encourages Member States to use their VNR to report on promising practices and initiatives showing that violence against children is preventable.
An important function of the VNRs is to engage the whole of society in reviewing progress towards reaching the SDG targets. Children need to be active participants and their voices must be reflected both in the outcome and process of the VNR. Children’s protection, education, health and other aspects of their wellbeing should be an integral part of every VNR report paying particular attention to ensure no child is left behind, especially the most vulnerable.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has key targets aimed at ending different forms of violence against children, as well as targets to address factors that drive violence against children. Poverty, gender inequality, climate change and natural disasters, and social discrimination make children more vulnerable to various forms of violence, including human trafficking.
VNR LAB: HLPF 2020 => Developing a child sensitive and child inclusive SDG Voluntary National Review
Governments across all regions are using the SDG targets related to children to spur accelerated actions towards ending poverty, ensuring healthy lives, increasing access to quality education, achieving gender equality, promoting child participation, and eliminating all forms of violence.
On 15 July 2020, the Office of the Special Representative co-organized with UNICEF a Voluntary National Review Lab aimed to encourage Governments to report on the SDG targets related to children in their VNRs by sharing positive examples from Member States.
The Lab highlighted how inclusive and participatory VNR processes can help ensure that children’s wellbeing and protection is at the centre of national development planning and accelerate progress towards reaching the SDGs.
The Lab also drew attention to the need to maintain national budgets for the health, education and protection of children from violence, even in the face of the global economic crisis created by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping the promise: Ending Violence against Children by 2030
"Four years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, despite some progress, violence against children remains hidden and undermines the achievement of the SDGs and the fully implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Four years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child we still need to do more, to do better and to do faster to ensure that no child is left behind." SRSG Najat Maalla M'jid. The Special Representative's office launched the study Keeping the promise: ending violence against children by 2030 that estimates that over 1 billion children around the world - half of the world’s children -endure violence.report estimates that three in every four children under the age of 5 experience aggressive discipline at the hands of caregivers and almost one-third of students have been bullied by their peers at least once in the past month.
SRSG celebrates the historic global commitment to end violence against children
On Friday 25 September 2015, a global sustainable development agenda was unanimously adopted by the Member States of the United Nations. The new agenda includes for the first time a specific target (16.2) to end all forms of violence against children, and ending the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is mainstreamed across several other violence-related targets. This is the time to celebrate the adoption of the new development agenda and highlight how the global community can make the vision of target 16.2 a reality for all the world's children.
Special Representative viewpoints
The 2030 Agenda-implementation, follow up and review
When the United Nations adopted The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 it committed to strive for a world guided by human rights, a world that is just, equitable and inclusive, and free from fear and from violence. Working towards sustained economic growth, social development and environmental protection for all, the agenda seeks to provide children and young people with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities. More
Special Representative viewpoints
Financing for Development requires move in resources from billions to trillions - savings from ending violence against children will be a crucial contribution to this goal
SRSG Santos Pais co-hosted with Unicef an event at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where a Global Partnership and associated Fund to end violence against children was announced. This new initiative seeks to mobilize the resources needed to deliver on Target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDG) to “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.” More
Special Representative viewpoints
Why ending violence against children is essential to sustainable development
The world stands at a pivotal moment towards ending violence against children and realizing the noble vision of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In September 2015, the Member States of the United Nations will gather to agree on the new sustainable development agenda. In the short period from now until the end of September, the world has a golden opportunity to ensure that ending this most severe violation of children’s rights – the phenomenon of violence against children –remains at the heart of this global strategic agenda. More
The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet. Synthesis report of the Secretary-General on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda (A/69/700)
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General - 2019 Special Edition
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General - 2019 Session
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General - 2018 Session
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General - 2017 Session
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General - 2016 Session
Report of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators. The three global indicators for target 16.2 are below and can be found on page 57 of the report:
- 16.2.1 Proportion of children aged 1-17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month Donwload
-16.2.2 Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation
-16.2.3 Proportion of young women and men aged 18-29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18
SRSG report Why Children's Protection from Violence should be at the Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda - A Review of Consultations with Children on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Download
Video message by the SRSG Marta Santos Pais on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
Ending all forms of violence against children by 2030 - Council of Europe Contribution to the 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals
SDGs the world we want child-friendly publication