Widely perceived as a social taboo, an accepted practice or a needed form of discipline, violence against children is seldom reported; furthermore, official statistics remain limited in their ability to capture the full extent of this phenomenon wherever it occurs. As a result, available information is scarce and only reflects the tip of the iceberg. Without reliable data, national planning is compromised, effective policymaking and resource mobilization are hampered and targeted interventions limited in their ability toprevent and combat violence against children. This is an area where urgent action is required and to which the Special Representative pays priority attention.
Existing data sets on children provide a basis to build upon, but they need to be integrated beyond sectors and individual disciplines. Gaps in child protection areas need to be addressed and monitoring tools and indicators expanded to cover boys and girls of all ages and in all settings, and to identify those at greatest risk. Moreover, these efforts need to incorporate children’s views and perspectives, and capture their experience, and dynamic and evolving agency. This is crucial to understand the hidden face of violence and to address its root causes effectively.
Data and research are indispensable if we are to expose the hidden face of violence and address its root causes; understand perceptions and attitudes regarding this phenomenon, including among girls and boys of various ages and social backgrounds; identify children at greater risk and effectively support them; and assess the economic costs of violence and the social gains that can be achieved through steady investment in prevention. These are areas where consolidated partnerships and the acceleration of efforts will remain of the essence. Accorss regions, the office of the SRSG on Violence against Children promotes the strengthening of data collection and research on violence against children to inform advocacy, national planning, legislation and policy making for violence prevention and response.
Africa: The Office of the Special Representative enjoys a close collaboration with African partners to advance the right of all children across the continent to enjoy a childhood free from all forms of violence, providing support to the development of legislative and policy developments, and the consolidation of data to advance progress throughout the region. More information on the work of the SRSGVAC in Africa can be found here
Americas: Since 2009, the SRSG mandate has promoted a strategic collaboration with key actors in the Americas such the Organization of American States (OAS), MERCOSUR, SICA and CARICOM, the Latin American and Caribbean Movement for Children (MMI LAC), academia, civil society actors and children and young people to accelerate progress on the implementation of the UN Study recommendations in the region. More information on the work of the SRSGVAC in the Americas can be found here
East Asia and Pacific: The Special Representative has a significant platform of cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and with its Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). More information on the work of the SRSGVAC in the East Asia and Pacific region can be found here
Europe: The Special Representative collaborates closely with the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental human rights organisation counting 47 member States.The Special Representative also works with the European Union, with a view to advance the implementation of the European Union strategy on the rights of the child and the revised 2017 European Union Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child to fight violence against children. More information about the work of the SRSGVAC in Europe can be found here
Middle East: The Special Representative cooperates closely with the League of Arab States and its Steering Committee on Violence against Children. The Committee was established to coordinate efforts and review progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Study, promote a comprehensive regional study to capture national developments aiming at the prevention and elimination of violence against children, and identify areas where the process of national follow-up could be further enhanced. More information about the work of the SRSGVAC in the Middle East can be found here
South Asia:The Special Representative has established a firm institutional collaboration with the South Asian Initiative to End Violence against Children, a SAARC Apex Body. The Special Representative’s cooperation with the Initiative provides a strategic occasion to strengthen cooperation with critical partners in South Asia, including the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, national governments, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and with community-based organizations and children’s advocates on violence against children. More information about the work of the SRSGVAC in South Asia can be found here