To gain deeper understanding of the root causes and risk factors of violence, and to identify positive experience and strategic recommendations in order to assist Governments in their national implementation efforts, the Special Representative organized seven expert consultations on priority topics and developed special reports and communication materials to support advocacy and to enhance political action and social support for the prevention and elimination of violence against children.
In 2010 and 2011, the Special Representative held three expert consultations: on child-sensitive counselling, complaint and reporting mechanisms in relation to incidents of violence; on children’s legal protection from violence; and on the promotion of safe and violence-free schools. The conclusions and recommendations of those consultations remain strongly relevant for the work of the SRSG.
As detailed in this section, in 2012, the Special Representative organized four additional consultations: on the protection of children from harmful practices; on the prevention of and responses to violence against children within the juvenile justice system; on the consolidation of data and research to inform policy and action against violence; and on the prevention of violence in early childhood.
Regional consultation on bullying
Mexico city, Mexico, 27 April 2018 - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, in cooperation with the Government of Mexico, UNICEF, the Inter-American Children’s Institute, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and REDLAMYC convened a Regional Expert Consultation on Children’s Right to Protection from Bullying. Held in Mexico City, Mexico the meeting gathered representatives from national governments, UN agencies, regional organizations, research institutions and civil society.
Regional consultation on corporal punishment against children and adolescents
Mexico city, Mexico, 25 - 26 April 2018 - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, in cooperation with the Government of Mexico, UNICEF, the Inter-American Children’s Institute, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and REDLAMYC convened an Inter-American Meeting on Corporal Punishment against Children and Adolescents. Held in Mexico City, Mexico the meeting gathered representatives from national governments, UN agencies, regional organizations, research institutions, civil society actors and children and young people.
Children on the move
Mexico City, Mexico, 30 - 31 August 2017 - Expert consultation on "Children on the move: from the continuum of violence to the continuum of protection", organized by IBERO (through the PDH and Prami) and the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children, in close collaboration with the United Nations Agency for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Children's Fund.
Crime prevention and reintegration
Santiago de Chile, Chile, 28 - 29 November 2016 - As implementation of the 2030 Agenda starts, countless children are being left behind, including those deprived of their liberty. Considering the need to support the elaboration of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty organised an expert consultation to discuss laws, policies and programs for crime prevention and resocialization of children in contact with criminal justice systems. The debates held at this meeting became a concrete contribution to the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and to the design and implementation of crime prevention and reintegration policies in Latin America.
Montevideo, Uruguay, 30 - 31 August 2016 - Within the framework of the International Seminar on Children's Rights, Citizen Security and non-custodial sentences, on August 30-31, experts on criminal justice systems from various countries elaborated recommendations on adolescent criminal justice to limit the use of deprivation of liberty and strengthen sanctions of non-exclusive nature.
Children Deprived of Liberty
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20 May 2016 - On 19 and 20 May the International Seminar "Monitoring and supervision of centres of deprivation of liberty for children" was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This activity was co-organized by UNICEF Argentina and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children (SRSG VAC) as a contribution to the preparation of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty requested by the UN Secretary General.
Bullying and cyberbullying
Florence, Italy, 9 - 10 May 2016 - Bullying compromises children’s well-being, health, and school performance, and is associated with serious long-term consequences for their lives. Although research and available data show different results from country to country, bullying, including cyberbullying, is present and widespread throughout the world, and it is clear that it affects a significant percentage of children as victims, perpetrators or observers.
Geneva, 6 - 7 July 2011 - The aim of the Consultation is to formulate practical recommendations to accelerate the adoption of effective legislation to protect children from all forms of violence. The Consultation will focus on progress achieved and factors critical to legal reform, covering selected areas from among the five settings identified by the Study where violence against children manifests itself (in the home, in the community, in schools,in institutional care and justice institutions, and in places of work).
Child sensitive counselling and reporting
Geneva 30 September-1 October 2010 - The overall aim of this expert consultation was to strengthen child friendly counseling, complaint and reporting mechanisms for the safeguard of children’s rights. The meeting was an important stage in the process of preparation of the thematic report requested by the Human Rights Council on Effective Child Sensitive Counseling, complaint and Reporting Mechanisms on incidents of violence against children. The report
was jointly conducted by the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Najat Maalla.
Addis Ababa, 13 - 15 June 2012 - The expert consultation focused on sharing of good legislative examples, taking into account possible risks and backlashes in countries where law reform combined with effective enforcement, awareness-raising and social mobilization has given positive results in addressing deeply rooted social conventions and promoting the abandonment of harmful practices against children. Particular attention was given to less known or emerging harmful practices.
Vienna, Austria January 2012 - The expert consultation focused on the risks and systemic factors contributing to violence against children within the juvenile justice system, and strategies and practical recommendations to prevent and respond to violence against children within the juvenile justice system. Participants included representatives from international and regional human rights bodies, governmental and State institutions, academia and civil society.
Bali, Indonesia Bali, 26-28 June 2013 - The expert consultation focused on sharing of good legislative, policy and program examples, taking into account possible challenges in countries where law reform and a paradigm shift from punitive approaches to child sensitive restorative justice programs have led to rehabilitation and reintegration of children at community level and providing an overview of available models of restorative justice for children and of legal structures that support such programmes at the national, regional and community levels.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 6 - 7 July, 2015 - The expert consultation aimed at making visible the interconnections between children’s protection from armed violence in the community associated with organized crime, and sustainable development; and provide an overview of positive developments, promising practices,case/country studies, as well as challenges in addressing armed violence andorganized crime, in the light of existing and needed responses, including laws, policies and programmes.
Klaekken, Norway, 3 – 4 September 2015 - The expert consultation brought together experts from different regions for cross-regional learning and partnerships aikming at identifying good models and practice of community-based child protection mechanisms supported by various international and local NGOs in communities across different regions and to formulate clear guidance on what communities and children can effectively do in sustainable community-based child protection mchanisms.
Lima, Peru 27 – 28 August 2012 - The overall aim of the expert consultation was to influence the global agenda on violence against children by making visible the phenomenon of violence against children in early childhood and its impact on the cycle of violence later in life, as well as in society and in the development of nations. It contributed to map out progress and persisting challenges and reflect on key findings from initiatives developed by strategic partners, considered ways of promoting the use of knowledge on violence in early childhood and violence prevention in supporting political decision-making and action and explored options for awareness-raising.
Violence in Schools
Oslo, Norway 27 - 28 June 2011 - The expert consultation aimed at sharing European data and research in combating violence against children in schools; consolidating the various national and international methodologies, strategies, initiatives and good practices, including human rights and democratic citizenship education, to make schools free from violence; to identify instruments, methods and recommendations for the SRSG’s follow- up work to eliminate violence in schools, and to define the role that the Council of Europe could further play in addressing violence in schools via its future Children’s Rights Strategy 2012-2015.
ICTs and Violence
San José, Costa Rica 9 - 10 June 2014 - The expert consultation aimed to support advocacy, national legislative and policy initiatives to strengthen protection of children from violence through new information and communication technologies, and to increase awareness, political support and global action for online child protection. Starting with a reflection on the ways in which children use ICTs, articipants discussed the extent to which the concerns expressed by children, their wishes and needs are known, taken into account and properly addressed.
Data and Research
Satra Bruk, Sweden 18-21 June 2012 - The expert consultation assessed progress in the implementation of the recommendation of the UN Study on data and research on violence against children. The meeting aimed at bridging efforts between statistical offices, research institutions and governmental departments responsible for children and violence-related activities, and promoting evidence-based advocacy, policy and mobilization of resources. Furthermore, the meeting was an important forum to reflect on ethical approaches to take into account the experience and perceptions of violence by children in surveys and research.