SRSG and ENOC strenghten cooperation on children's freedom from violence

New York, 8 October 2015 -In the course of the annual meeting of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), SRSG Marta Santos Pais and ENOC further enhanced their strategic collaboration to prevent and address all forms of violence against children.

To reaffirm this partnership, a joint statement was issued setting out common areas of action over the coming years. ENOC also issued a separate statement, outlining the detailed actions it proposes to take to tackle violence against children in Europe.

SRSG Santos Pais commended ENOC for choosing the elimination of violence against children as a priority and encouraged its members to support and promote the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

“The inclusion of the elimination of violence against children as a cross-cutting concern and a distinct target in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is a historic opportunity. For this goal to remain within our reach, we have to make sure we keep it at the heart of the policy agenda of every nation. With the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the UN Study on violence against children in 2016, we aim to transform this unique momentum into an inclusive and unstoppable movement toward a world free from violence against children.”

Acknowledging the crucial contribution that Ombuds for children have made to eliminating and addressing violence against children and to supporting her mandate, Ms. Santos Pais underlined the importance of reacting quickly and decisively to new threats to children’s freedom from violence, such as the current challenges confronting asylum seeking and refugee children in Europe.

“The wave of refugees has led to a crisis for the values that have been known to characterize European democracies: a commitment to international human rights standards and the rule of law; and a commitment to solidarity in responding to a humanitarian emergency that individual nations cannot effectively grapple with on their own.”

Ms Santos Pais called on ENOC and all partners to support governments in addressing this crisis, framed by the principles and values of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant treaties. ENOC adopted a statement on this issue and has set up a taskforce that will monitor and report on the situation of refugee children to European leaders and institutions.