Middle East

The Special Representative cooperates closely with multi stakeholders in the Middle East and Northern Africa region including Member States, UN United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), UN regional and country teams, regional intergovernmental organizations such the League of Arab States and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, CSOs and most importantly with children and young people to transform the continuum of violence into a continuum of protection and care for all children leaving no one behind in the region. 

Cooperation with League of Arab States

Since the outset of her mandate, the Special Representative has bult a strong cooperation with the  League of Arab States and its Department of Women, Family and Childhood; as well as with its Steering Committee on Violence against Children. The Special Representative has continued to strengthen her collaboration with the League of Arab States and has a set of joint priority activities planned for 2021 and 2022. The Office of the Special Representative contributed to the launch of the LAS/UNHCR Arab Strategy for Child Protection in Asylum context, to LAS Girls Forum held in December 2020 and to the Arab Regional Conference, ‘Towards a Regional Action Plan on Belonging and Legal Identity’, held in June 2021. 

On July 7th, the Special Representative, the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict and the League of Arab States co-organized an event on protecting children in the Arab region that highlighted the continuum of violence against children in pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict contexts, showing the impact on the rights of children and their wellbeing; the impact on children in refugee settlements or undergoing reintegration programmes; and the efforts that are undertaken to better protect and strengthen the resilience of conflict-affected children.

League of Arab States 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. Law reform was one such area, and a technical workshop was held to advance progress in the region on the introduction of a national legal ban on all forms of violence. The League’s regional study provides a strong foundation to inform legal and policy reforms, and to support institutional developments on violence against children. Its preliminary findings were presented during a high-level meeting, hosted in June 2010 by the Government of Lebanon, and subsequently submitted to the Fourth High-level Arab Conference on the Rights of the Child, hosted by the Government of Morocco, in December 2010. The findings also informed the Marrakesh Declaration, adopted on that occasion, calling for the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Study, in close cooperation with the Special Representative and UNICEF, and highlighting key areas of concern, including the development of national strategies to combat violence against children, the establishment of a national follow-up and reporting mechanism, the enactment of legislation to protect children from violence, neglect, ill-treatment and exploitation, the provision of services to support victims, and measures to combat impunity. Subsequently, the League of Arab States issued a second and third study on the implementation of the UN Study recommendations. 

Cooperation with UN ESCWA

The Special Representative has promoted close cooperation with ESCWA to accelerate progress on SDG implementation in the Arab region. In doing so, in 2020 ESCWA translated the SRSG briefing note on how to integrate violence against children into Voluntary National Reports into Arabic.  In 2021, ESCWA invited the Special Representative to address Arab countries during the Arab Workshop on SDGs and during a side event on Mental Health and Violence against children that was convened during the 2021 Arab Forum on SDGs.  
 

Governance Structures

League of Arab States Sub-Committee on Violence against Children

Political Declarations

Cairo Declaration

Marrakesh Declaration

Doha Declaration

Human Rights standards

Strategic Developments

Study on “Child labour in the Arab region”- which was adopted from the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit  in its 4th session - 2019 Full report  Executive Summary

Arab strategy for the protection of refugee and displaced children in Arab countries. the strategy was adopted from the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit  in its 4th session - 2019 Download (Arabic)

Framework for Family Agenda 2030 in the Arab Region Download (Arabic)

Cairo Declaration for Arab Women - Download

Executive Action Plan Protection of Arab Women Peace and Security - Download

Arab Convention on Regulating Status of Refugees in the Arab Countries, 1994 - Download

League of Arab States, Protocol for the Treatment of Palestinians in Arab States ("Casablanca Protocol"), 11 September 1965 -  Download

Second Comparative Arab Report on Implementing the Recomendations of the UN Secretary-General Study on Violence against Children (2012)

Comparative Arab Report on Implementing the Recomendations of the UN Secretary-General's Study on Violence against Children (2010)

Cross regional roundtables

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2019)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2018)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2017)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2016)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2015)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2014)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2013)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2012)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2011)