SRSG-VAC Congratulates Government of Chile on Creation of 'Ombudsperson for Children'

New York, 29 January 2018 -The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children (SRSG-VAC), Marta Santos Pais, congratulates the Government of Chile for enacting legislation on 22 January 2018 which created the new position of ‘Ombudsperson for Children’. 

This new legislation, the design and promotion of which was done in collaboration with SRSG-VAC Marta Santos Pais, marks a critically important milestone towards a world free from the fear of violence against children.  

The Ombudsperson for Children, the first in Chile, will be an autonomous, independent, legal body with broad responsibilities, including its role to: receive, facilitate and disseminate the opinion and views of children; receive complaints from children about violations of their rights; and, act as a facilitator and mediator between State bodies, private institutions and children.

Additionally, the Ombudsperson for Children will: prepare general or specific reports on issues related to children (including on the prevention, response and elimination of all forms of violence against children); participate in discussion processes on legal reforms that affect children; and, promote compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments.

SRSG-VAC Marta Santos Pais highlighted the importance of the Ombudsman for Children, noting: "For my mandate it is very satisfying to see the result of a lengthy process of promotion and discussion within Chilean society regarding the essential role played by autonomous and independent bodies and mechanisms for the protection of the rights of children.”

“The Ombudsperson will play a very important role in protecting the rights of children against the violence they may suffer in detention centers, as well as in all instances in which violence may take place. The Ombudsperson’s leadership can also be a guide for Chile to move towards a comprehensive system of protection for children so that violence against children does not take place."

The Ombudsperson for Children will be elected by the Senate by a quorum of 2/3, based upon a proposal made by the Commission on Human Rights, Nationality and Citizenship. The Ombudsperson will be the Director and legal representative of the Ombudsperson's Office and will hold office for 5 years, without the possibility of re-election.

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