International Expert Consultation on Violence against Children and Law Reform - Geneva

Geneva, 7 July 2011 - On 6 and 7 July 2011, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children (SRSG), Ms. Marta Santos Pais, in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the International NGO Advisory Council on Violence against Children, hosted an expert consultation on law reform in Geneva.

The meeting brought together experts from different regions and countries with experience in the process and content of legal reform related to violence against children in different settings.

The United Nations Study on Violence against Children urged states to “prohibit all forms of violence against children, in all settings, including all corporal punishment, harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so-called honour crimes, sexual violence and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as required by international treaties…”

Recognizing the urgency of this process, the SRSG identified the adoption of legislation to prohibit all forms of violence against children, in all settings, together with an appropriate legal framework for prevention and for response to violence when it occurs, as a priority focus of her mandate.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify good legislative practices and formulate practical recommendations for countries to accelerate the adoption of effective legislation to protect children from all forms of violence. The consultation focused on progress achieved and factors critical to legal reform.