SRSG welcomes Call to Action to end crimes and extreme violence against children in Africa

New York, 15 November 2016 - SRSG Santos Pais welcomes the Call to Action to End Crimes and Extreme Violence against Children adopted by the International Policy Conference on the Rights of the Child, organized by the African Child Policy Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With the participation of policy makers, researchers, religious leaders, civil society organizations, child rights experts and the media from around the African continent, this biennial conference shed light on the often fatal forms of violence that children face as a result of discriminatory and harmful beliefs and practices towards particularly marginalised and vulnerable children. Serious cases of infanticides, and attacks on children with albinism or those accused of witchcraft, as well as needed actions to secure the protection of girls and boys deserved a special attention by participants from countries across the continent.

Recalling the sound commitments agreed upon by the African Union Agenda 2063, the African Children’s Agenda 2040 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to address violence against children, SRSG Santos Pais highlighted the richness of African values and the significant initiatives promoted at the national and local levels to ensure the protection of children from violent acts and harmful practices. “With strong political leadership and wide social mobilization, all forms of violence, including the most extreme, can be brought to an end when an all-inclusive national strategy or plan is in place, backed by sound data and research, duly funded and implemented; and a clear legal ban on all forms of violence is enacted, widely publicized and enforced to promote non-violent values and to transform attitudes that condone or normalise any form of violence”, said SRSG Santos Pais.

“From my many missions throughout the continent, I have heard harrowing incidences of violence that inflict tremendous suffering on children with devastating consequences for their development, health, education and overall well-being. In some instances attacks on children with albinism, infanticides, child sacrifices and many other forms of violence are socially or culturally accepted. With this Call to Action, African nations have a sound basis to support national and Pan-African efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against children, including harmful practices. I remain strongly committed to support this important goal”, said the SRSG.

Read the Call to Action:

Read the International Policy Conference press release:

Read SRSG on Violence against Children report

Watch the SRSG’s video message: