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New York, 13 June 2018 - “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to leave no one behind. International Albinism Awareness Day is an opportunity to declare solidarity with people with albinism and strive together so those who are often left furthest behind are able to live free from discrimination and fear, and empowered to enjoy their full human rights,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.  

Bogotá, 8 June 2018 - The Office of the UN SRSG on Violence against Children and UNICEF today launched a joint regional publication, “The private sector and the prevention of violence against children in Latin America and the Caribbean”, in Bogotá, Colombia.

Malta, 6 June 2018 -  High-level delegations from all regions of the world met in Malta to enhance efforts towards the prevention and elimination of the corporal punishment of children.

Convened under the patronage of the President of Malta, the High-Level Global Conference on the Universal Prohibition of Corporal Punishment was the third in a series of Ministerial meetings aimed at supporting governments in their efforts to put an end to this widespread form of violence. * 

4 June 2018 - Today is International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. Now, more than ever, we must work together to end all forms of violence against all children in all settings. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides us with the universal masterplan to secure a better future for all children. The new agenda includes for the first time a specific target (16.2), to end forms of violence against children. Ending the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is also mainstreamed across several other violence-related targets.

New York, 1 June 2018 - SRSG Santos Pais congratulated the Government of Lao PDR for the launch of the findings of the Survey on Violence against Children and the multi-sectoral response plan identifying priority actions to address violence against children. The Survey findings and the Action Plan were launched by the Deputy Prime Minister, Sonxay Siphandone in Vientiane, on 1 June.

Thimphu, Bhutan, 11 May 2018 – “The 8th Cross-Regional Round Table is strategically timed and has provided new impetus to accelerate progress in children’s protection from violence around the world in the lead-up to the July 2019 High-Level Political Forum and its review of SDG 16, including target 16.2 to end all violence against children, and to the first 2030 Agenda Summit which will gather world leaders in September 2019 at the UN General Assembly,” highlighted SRSG-VAC Santos Pais. 

In her annual dialogue in Jakarta with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and of Children (ACWC), SRSG Santos Pais acknowledged progress made in implementation of the Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children (RPA/EVAC), and the Development of the Baseline Study on national action undertaken to strengthen children’s protection from violence. 

In the interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council on 6 March 2018, Member States commended the Special Representative on Violence against Children for placing the prevention from violence in early childhood at the center of her annual report and interactive dialogue.

“A child who has been accused of witchcraft, experiences psychological violence which can be devastating in itself,” said Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais. “But such accusations are also often associated with other forms of violence, including serious abuse tantamount to torture, sometimes leading to life-long injuries and even death.”

“A world free from fear and from violence, where no one is left behind, is the ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” recalled SRSG-VAC Marta Santos Pais in her Annual Report to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (February-March 2018).

The gender parity threshold has been reached among United Nations senior leaders. This is historic! ” said UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais. 

“Gender parity within the UN Senior Management Group bringing together leaders of United Nations departments, offices, funds and programmes, tangibly represents the UN’s commitment to genderequality and women’s empowerment across its work and priority agenda." 

“A world free from fear and from violence, where no one is left behind, is the ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” recalls SRSG-VAC Marta Santos Pais in her Annual Report to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (February-March 2018).

“The Solutions Summit is an important milestone in our journey to end violence against children. And we have strong reasons to feel encouraged by the excellent national experience and tangible progress that is being made on the ground. But much remains to be done to protect every child from violence and we need to move ahead with a deep sense of urgency” said Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, during her address at the End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm on 15 February.

Today is an important day in our collective work and efforts to create a world free from violence for all children: 6 February 2018 marks both 'Safer Internet Day' and the ‘International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)’.

“Through my work I have had the opportunity to listen to the ordeals of so many migrant and refugee children forced to flee their homes and countries due to violence,” says Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children (SRSG-VAC). “Sadly, in too many cases, the violence they are trying to escape often accompanies them in different forms throughout their travels in search of safety.”

“Protecting children from violence is essential if we are to realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Agenda of a world free from fear and violence for all children,” said Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children (SRSG-VAC), in her keynote address to launch Cambodia’s first ever Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children.

At the 4th World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, China, SRSG Santos Pais took centre-stage to bring attention to the critical role of legislation in preventing and combating children’s online abuse and exploitation drawing on international experience.  “In a field where technology advances very rapidly it is critical to keep legislative measures under constant review to address emerging concerns.

“The focus on violence against children in this year’s resolution is an encouraging reaffirmation of States’ solemn commitment to the protection of children’s rights” said SRSG Santos Pais in welcoming the adoption by the General Assembly of the 2017 resolution on the Rights of the Child. “The resolution calls for all necessary measures to prevent and address violence against children in all its forms to be put in place, and recognizes the detrimental impact it has on the enjoyment of children’s rights.

Geneva/New York, 20 November – On Universal Children’s Day, UN child rights experts[1] call on all Governments to safeguard the rights of children on the move.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty and is further strengthened by its three Optional Protocols on the involvement of children in armed conflict; the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and on a communications procedure.

On a three-day visit to Greece, Special Representative Santos Pais met with children living in a refugee camp in Athens, from whom she heard painful as well as inspiring stories of courage and resilience. The visit was organized in the framework of a meeting of European Independent Children’s Rights Institutions, held in Athens to identify challenges and provide recommendations for future action to ensure the safeguard of refugee and migrant children across Europe.

SRSG Santos Pais participated as a keynote speaker in the 11th European Forum on the Rights of the Child: Children deprived of their liberty and alternatives to detention, held in Brussels 7-8 November, where she stressed the importance of hearing the voices and recommendations of children when these challenging issues are considered.

A new book to honour all those who are committed to building a world free from violence, where children can grow up happy, safe, confident, cherished, nurtured and respected was launched by SRSG Santos Pais on Tuesday during the UN General Assembly segment devoted to the promotion and protection of the rights of children.

In commemorating the International Day of the Girl, SRSG Santos Pais recalled that while progress in reducing child marriage is still slow, there are encouraging signals of progress and levels have decreased slightly compared to earlier generations. Today, for example, seven countries across the African continent have levels of child marriage below 10 per cent, compared with only one country 25 years ago.

SRSG Santos Pais participated as the keynote speaker at an event at United Nations headquarters organized by the Permanent Missions of Norway and Chile, and in collaboration with UNICEF, on Strong Child Rights Monitoring.

Ms. Santos Pais highlighted the key role played by Ombuds for children across regions as critical partners in the realization of children’s rights and as independent and influential voices, determined to safeguard the best interests of the child in policy, law and practice. 

Stepping up progress towards the 2030 SDG targets on violence against children must be at the heart of the policy agenda of every nation is a central message in the 2017 Annual Report of SRSG Santos Pais to the General Assembly. “Leadership and accountability are essential to realize the ambitious vision of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for a world free from fear and violence, a world that invests in children and where no child is left behind.

The launch of the new Global Report 2017 Ending Violence in Childhood, issued on September 26 by the international learning initiative Know Violence in Childhood is an important contribution to our understanding of the scale and impact of violence in childhood based on a critical review of research and data from across regions.

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.

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.    

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.   

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.  

Geneva, 9 March 2016 - 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.

10 March 2016 - 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.

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.