The National Strategy is a great step to build a safe, inclusive, empowering, and protective environment for and with children – SRSG Maalla M’jid concludes three-day visit to Spain

Madrid, 17 November 2022 - At the invitation of the Minister of Social Rights and the Agenda 2030, Special Representative Maalla M’jid visited Spain to participate in the launch of the Strategy for the Eradication of Violence against Children and Adolescents 2023-2030 implementing the Law on the protection against violence against children and adolescents (LOPIVI).

This comprehensive strategy, aiming to enhance prevention and eradicate all forms of violence against children and adolescents, comprises five priority areas to guarantee the fulfillment and exercise of children’s human rights to a life free of violence, to develop their full potential and have a happy childhood.

Furthermore, the strategy proposes to strengthen prevention, improve detection and intervene early from a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach and to achieve a consensus in understanding that violence, in any its forms, is a violation of human rights and has direct consequences on the development of boys and girls, their socialization, their ability to learn and their physical and emotional well-being. In 2021, there were over 55 thousand reports of children and adolescents between 0 and 17 years of age were registered victims of incidents violence in Spain, 3.78% of the total.

“The strategy reflects the importance of investing in child and gender-sensitive intersectoral systems for the protection and prevention of violence, which are essential to achieving the promise made to children by 2030: to eradicate all forms of violence against children, girls and adolescents. The steps taken with the approval of legislation to protect children’s rights, the launch of the strategy and the importance to ensure harmonization of protection across all the country for all children independently of their status are critical because more than ever before, ending violence against children cannot wait!’ said the Special Representative.

During her three-day visit, the Special Representative met with high-level representatives of the Spanish Government including the Vice President of the Government and  Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, the Minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,  representatives of the  Minister of Justice the Ombudsman, the Provost of the IE University,  representatives of parliamentary groups in Congress in charge of the group on children's rights, NGOs and children from diverse communities and backgrounds.

In her discussions with children the alert over the normalization of violence was raised and the need to ensure a system that protect effectively all children with particular attention to the most vulnerable in the country.

Spain has made remarkable efforts to combat poverty and its huge effects on the most vulnerable during the current multifaceted crisis.  Many children and families continue facing important challenges which are known also as risks and drivers of violence and Dr. Maalla welcomed the full engagement and commitment of the Government and the representatives in the Child Rights Committee in Parliament addressing violence against children in a comprehensive way and across all the country. The Autonomous Regions and Cities have a crucial role for the success of the implementation of this Strategy and she encouraged all to continue engaging in the consensual manner. Ending violence is a responsibility of all of us.  

Dr. Maalla M’jid, visited the Cocina Conciencia project and the Raices Foundation where she met with unaccompanied children and adults who had arrived in Spain when they were minors and unaccompanied and sharing their stories, hopes and projects. The ongoing efforts by Spain to reform the age determination procedures  as part of the renewed protection measures in the LOPIVI, will be critical to strengthen the protection for all children and Dr. Maalla stressed the importance of its prompt approval. She also participated in a lively discussion at IE University with young students about the responsibility of each and every one of us in achieving the goal of ending violence.