SRSG participates in conference on "Stepping up Progress in Combating Violence against Children" in Ankara, Turkey

Ankara (Turkey) 28 November 2012 - SRSG Santos Pais joined high-level governmental officials and leading child rights experts from across Europe in the conference “Stepping up Progress in Combating Violence against Children”, held in Ankara, Turkey.

The event was organized by the Government of Turkey, the Council of Europe and UNICEF, in collaboration with the SRSG on Violence against Children.

The conference aimed at exchanging European experiences in designing and implementing integrated national strategies and addressing gaps in the safeguard of children’s protection from violence. 

The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the findings of the SRSG’s Global Survey on Violence against Children and recommend priority actions to accelerate progress in children’s protection from violence.

Ms. Santos Pais stressed the need to narrow the gap between what is  included in legislation and the reality in each country. “We continuously advocate for the establishment of child-sensitive counseling, reporting and complaint mechanisms, safe and accessible to all children so that they can seek support, and have professionals ready to understand their stories and to guide them in the process of recovery and reintegration. With decisive, multidisciplinary and  collaborative efforts, violence is not inevitable,” added the SRSG.

In her concluding remarks, SRSG Santos Pais emphasized the critical value of children’s participation in decision making processes, including in the effective planning and evaluation of services and in establishing child friendly services and mechanisms to address violence against children. 

Together with national action plans and international responses to violence against children, participants also discussed legislative measures to prohibit all forms of violence and protect children at risk; preventive, protective and child-friendly services, the role of civil society and the media in building a culture of respect for the rights of the child, and the strengthening of public awareness on violence against children.