From 26th February to 23rd March 2018, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations met for its 37th session. A part of CATS team went to Geneva for this special occasion.
Children’s rights was one of the main themes examined, especially the issue of children living in conflict areas. One discussion of the session concerned violence against children and children and armed conflict, and a high-level panel meeting concerned the human rights of Children in Syria.
During the session, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, presented her annual report on this topic. In this report, she first emphasizes that recently, progress was accomplished to fight violence against children, because new international standards on children’s protection from violence have appeared, a lot of States have developed or improved their policy and legislation to prevent and respond to violence. General awareness on this subject have been raised and new global initiatives have been implemented.
Although a lot has to be done to eradicate violence against children – one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – “the urgent need to protect children from violence has not diminished”. Every five minutes a child dies as a consequence of violence, even if freedom from violence is a children’s right, as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The report emphasizes the importance of preventing violence during early childhood: “in early childhood, the impact of violence is often irreversible”. The Report also calls for accelerated progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children underlining that this can not be effective without including children in this process.
Finally, the report presents the priorities of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children for 2018 among which includes: advocating for the development of initiatives to prevent violence during early childhood, safeguarding the rights of migrant and refugee children, consolidating children’s protection from school violence, bullying and cyber bullying.
In 2018, CATS will focus on the topic of violence against children, to consider how the collaboration between children, young people and adults can be a way to eradicate all types of violence against children.
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