Call for stronger State commitments on follow-up to UN Study on Violence against children

Joint statement on behalf of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), International Federation of Terre des hommes (IFTDH), Plan International, World Vision International (WVI), Save the Children Alliance, SOS-Kinderdorf International, World Movement of Mothers, International Alliance of Women, International Catholic Child Bureau (ICCB), Defence for Children International (DCI), International Federation of Social Workers, Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children[1]

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

We would like to thank His Excellency Ambassador De Alba for enabling this Special Event on Violence Against Children. We also thank Prof. Pinheiro, his team, and involved UN agencies for their work.

Following the final report of the independent expert of the Study on Violence Against Children and its presentation to the UN General Assembly (GA) in October 2006, the Members of the GA agreed on the importance of a wide dissemination and follow-up of the Study.[2]

We find it regrettable that the General Assembly could not agree upon stronger recommendations that clearly assert the role of the State in ensuring action, particularly given that Prof. Pinheiro’s final report and recommendations clearly asserted that “the primary responsibility for implementing the recommendations rests with the State” at the national, regional and international level.[3] Of course, the participation of other actors such as UN agencies and civil society is highly required.

Furthermore, the widespread and devastating impact of violence against children as revealed by Prof. Pinheiro’s report requires the highest possible commitment and real action to address comprehensively all aspects of violence against children in all settings. We believe that a commitment to establish such a mechanism within the UN to follow-up the Study and ensure its implementation should at least mirror the commitment to monitor violence against children when they are affected by armed conflict. Therefore, we reiterate the need to appoint a Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children and we call upon the members of the Human Rights Council, who are also members of the GA, to pledge in favour of such a mechanism.

We regret that today’s Special Event on Violence Against Children cannot lead to a resolution or any other kind of recommendation or decision by the Human Rights Council. However, we believe this event should be an opportunity for the Members of the Council to clearly express their strong commitment to the follow-up of the Study. By commitment, we mean that Council Members should confirm the concrete decisions and actions they will support and take in the near future in order to end all violence against children.

Questions to the members of the Council:

What do you concretely plan to do in order to follow-up the Study and implement the recommendations made by Prof. Pinheiro?

Do you support the establishment of a Special Representative to the SG on Violence Against Children? Will you support the establishment of such a mechanism at the next GA session?

Question to Prof. Pinheiro and UN agencies:

How are you going to encourage the States into accepting the establishment of a Special Representative on Violence Against Children?

Thank you Mr. Chairman  

[1] All these NGOs have either general or special ECOSOC consultative status, except Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) and Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

[2] Resolution on the Rights of the Child adopted by the GA to its 61st session, A/RES/61/146, § 13, 53 c).

[3] Report of the independent expert for the UN Study on violence against children, A/61/299, § 96, 115-123.

Further information

pdf: joint statement_4th session_Special Event on VAC_final.doc

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