Making violence against children visible: Human Rights Council discusses the way ahead

Geneva, 23 September 2014 – The need to accelerate progress towards the elimination of violence against children at the heart of a panel discussion held in the Human Rights Council, in Geneva.

“Online or offline, the urgency of protecting children from violence has certainly not diminished! As stressed by UNICEF recent report, violence is a reality hidden in plain sight!! The real question is: how long can we still afford turning a blind eye?”- asked SRSG Santos Pais . In her keynote address, Santos Pais stressed that the phenomenon of violence against children is becoming better known. Since the UN Study on violence against children of 2006, the mobilization to implement its recommendations by national governments across regions has helped to shed light into the prevalence, complexity, impact and cost of violence against children. The positive impact of new standards, policies, strategies, studies and information campaigns has proved that it is possible to break the cycle of violence. Unfortunately, progress has been too slow, too uneven and too fragmented to make a genuine breakthrough. 

Under the title “Ending violence against Children: global call to make the invisible visible” the panel discussion, held as a follow-up to Human Rights Council resolution 25/10 of 26 March 2014, confirmed the commitment of the international community to increase the visibility of this cause in the Post 2015 global development agenda, both as a distinct priority and a cross cutting concern. It also showed a wide consensus on the measures that need to be taken to address violence against children at national level, including the development of a comprehensive, well-resourced and coordinated national strategy to prevent and address violence against children; the enactment of legislation explicitly prohibiting all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment; further investing in research and data systems; supporting families in their child rearing responsibilities and empowering children from early years, as well as investing in education, awareness raising and training to address social norms, behaviors and attitudes that condone violence.

"Freedom from violence is indispensable for a sustainable future in which children will be able to grow-up healthy, well-nourished, resilient, well educated, culturally sensitive and protected from abuse and neglect", underlined SRSG Santos Pais.


Panel discussion concept note