Proposal for the 2006 UNGA resolution on the rights of the Child - text on violence against children

Summary: Proposal for the 2006 UNGA resolution on the rights of the Child - text on violence against children – developed by Members of the NGO Advisory Panel to the UN Study and Members of the NGO Group for the CRC Subgroup on Violence.


NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child
NGO Advisory Panel on the UN Study on Violence against Children

General principles

The resolution should be used to ensure that States endorse the SG’s Report and its recommendations (both the overarching and the setting-specific ones) and commit to its full implementation.

The UNGA resolution needs to highlight and reinforce States’ obligations to prohibit and condemn all forms of violence against children, including all corporal punishment, traditional practices and sexual violence.

The resolution should establish the mandate of a Special Representative on Violence against Children for 4 years, to ensure systematic follow-up to the Study and to work with relevant UN agencies, special mechanisms, NGOs and civil society, children and others to prevent and eliminate violence against children. The resolution should call for voluntary contributions from governments to support the core costs of a small but functional secretariat. Voluntary contributions should ideally come from a wide range of countries, especially from those which have been involved throughout the Study process and hosted national and regional consultations and follow-up. North-South and East-West ownership needs to continue in order to ensure that VAC is recognized as a global problem and therefore addressed and tackled everywhere. Voluntary contributions can range in size.

The resolution should therefore aim at endorsing all the overarching recommendations included in the SG’s report, in a shorter version without selecting some over others.

The text on VAC should be part of the omnibus resolution. GRULAC (who has the initiative) and EU should include all interested governments in the discussion and negotiation as from the outset and not after having found consensus between the two groups. This is important to ensure wide support, especially on the most sensitive issues such as legal ban of all forms of VAC and the establishment of the Special Representative.

In an ideal world, the omnibus resolution would be adopted by consensus. But on the basis of the experience of previous years, this seems most unlikely and we emphasise that we do not believe that a desire for consensus should weaken or undermine uncompromising support for the SG’s report recommendations. We believe it is inevitable that some states will seek amendments which will have to be voted on.


Proposal for a text

Introductory paragraphs

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of children to full respect for their human dignity and physical integrity and the obligations of states to protect them from all forms of violence.

2. Reaffirms further that children are entitled to their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights without discrimination of any kind. (this could go in the overall introductory paragraph)

3. Welcomes the report of the Independent Expert of the Secretary-General on violence against children, and endorses the recommendations included therein which address the need to prevent and to respond to all forms of violence against children.

4. Congratulates the expert for the participatory process through which the report was prepared in close collaboration with Member States and United Nations bodies and organizations, other relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and in particular, on the unprecedented level and quality of participation by children ;

5. Acknowledges that violence against children is a multidimensional problem and calls for a multifaceted response, combining human rights, public health and child protection perspectives.

6. Recognises the intolerable scale of violence against children in all countries and all settings, including state-authorised and legalised violence against girls and boys, in their homes, schools, forms of alternative care, penal systems and on the streets.

7. Shocked by the findings that children’s human right to dignity and physical integrity is given less priority and a lower status than the dignity and integrity of adults’ in every society.

8. Concerned by the fact that violence is in most cases perpetrated by the adults closest to children and responsible for protecting their well-being and upholding their rights.

9. Convinced that urgent action is needed to put an immediate end to violence against children

Operative paragraphs:

10. Urges all States to:

a. Develop and implement a national strategy on violence against children, based on a child rights framework, which is integrated into national planning processes with time-bound targets, coordinated by a national agency with the capacity to involve multiple sectors of government, civil society and children themselves in its development and implementation. The implementation of the national strategy should be systematically monitored, evaluated and provided with adequate human and financial resources.

b. Prohibit all forms of violence against children, in all settings, including all corporal punishment, harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so called honour crimes, sexual violence and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The death penalty and life sentences for offenses committed before age eighteen should be abolished as a matter of highest priority.

c. Prioritize prevention: Allocate adequate resources to address risk factors identified by the Study and prevent violence before it occurs. In line with the Millennium Development Goals, attention should be focused on economic and social policies that address poverty, gender and other forms of inequality, income gaps, unemployment, urban overcrowding and other factors which undermine society.

d. Promote non-violent values: Strive to transform attitudes that condone or normalize violence against children, including stereotypical gender roles and discrimination, acceptance of corporal punishment and harmful traditional practices. Ensure that children’s rights are disseminated and understood, including by children. Encourage the media to promote non-violent values and implement guidelines to ensure full respect for the rights of the child in all media coverage.

e. Enhance the capacity of all who work with and for children: Invest in systematic education and training programmes – both initial and in-service - for professionals and non-professionals, to impart knowledge and respect for children’s rights and skills to prevent, detect and respond to violence against children.
f. Provide recovery and social reintegration services for child victims of violence: ensure accessible, child-sensitive and universal health and social services, including pre-hospital and emergency care, legal assistance to children and, where appropriate, their families, when violence is detected or disclosed.

g. Engage actively with children and respect their right to participate: ensure respect for children’s right to have their views heard and given due weight in all aspects of prevention, response and monitoring of violence against them. Establish and sustain mechanisms to engage with children directly in designing and building multi-sectoral and child-friendly child protection systems which are effective, work in the best interests of children and do not add further harm to the child victims of violence. Support child-led organizations and children’s actions to end violence against children.

h. Create accessible and child-friendly reporting systems: Safe, well-publicised, confidential and accessible mechanisms must be available for reporting violence against children. All children including those in care and justice institutions should be aware of complaints mechanisms. The development of confidential free telephone hotlines for children should be considered, together with the creation of other ways of reporting violence through new technologies.

i. Ensure accountability and end impunity: All perpetrators of violence against children should be brought to justice and be held accountable through appropriate criminal, civil, administrative and professional proceedings and sanctions. Persons convicted of violent offences and sexual abuse of children should be prevented from working with children.

j. Address the gender dimension: All anti-violence policies and programmes must be designed and implemented from a gender perspective, taking into account the different risks faced by boys and girls.

k. Develop and implement systematic national data collection and research on violence against children, providing indicators based on internationally agreed standards, commission confidential interview research with children, parents and other carers, with appropriate ethical safeguards, to reveal the true extent of all forms of violence against girls and boys, in the home/family and in all other settings, and to enable progress towards its elimination to be measured and to inform policy and programming at all levels.

l. Ratify and implement all relevant instruments: Ratify all relevant international and regional human rights instruments relevant to the protection of children from all forms of violence, review and withdraw reservations and implement their treaty obligations and strengthen their cooperation with treaty bodies.


11. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the report of the expert is disseminated as widely as possible among Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as within the United Nations system;

12. Recommends that the Secretary-General appoints for a period of four years a Special Representative on violence against children, ensuring that the necessary support is made available for the effective performance of his/her mandate. Encourages the Special Representative to work with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, the United Nations Children’s Funds and the Word Health Organization and all other relevant UN agencies, and calls upon States and institutions concerned to provide voluntary contributions to support the appointment and the SR’s office.

13. Recommends that the Special Representative:

a. Act as a catalyst and convenor to promote international and regional cooperation and enhance the participation of civil society to eliminate violence against children, informed by the recommendations of the UNSG’s Study on Violence against Children;

b. Act as a high profile advocate to promote prevention and elimination of all violence against children, including by ensuring systematic monitoring of the implementation of key recommendations arising from the UNSG’s Study;

c. Ensure that children’s participation in the elimination and prevention of violence against them is supported and their views heard and respected;

d. Assess progress achieved and difficulties encountered in protecting children from all forms of violence, including through country visits and raise awareness and promote systematic collection and dissemination of information about violence against children and about its effective elimination;

e. Ensure multisectoral coordination in addressing violence against children within the United Nations system and work closely with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, the United Nations Children’s Funds and the Word Health Organization, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, relevant United Nations and regional bodies, the specialized agencies and other competent bodies, as well as non-governmental organizations;

f. Establish effective and mutually supportive collaboration with NGOs/civil society.

14. Requests the Special Representative to submit to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council an annual report containing relevant information on the situation of violence against children, bearing in mind existing mandates and reports of relevant bodies;

15. Calls upon Member States and relevant United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations, child-led and youth organisations to cooperate with the Special Representative and provide information on the implementation of the recommendations of the SG Report to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session.


Geneva/New York, 2 October 2006

For more information please contact:
Roberta Cecchetti: [email protected]
Jo Becker: [email protected]

More information:

Owner: NGO Group Subgroup on Children and Violence pdf:


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