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Violence against Children 43 - See the appointment of SRSG VaC
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Sat May 2 08:01:35 EDT 2009
See the appointment of SRSG VaC
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From: Child Rights Information Network <info at crin.org>
Subject: CRINMAIL Violence against Children 43
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1 May 2009 - CRINMAIL Violence against Children 43
- VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN: Secretary-General Names Special Representative [news]
- CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Inter-American Court confirms obligation to prohibit all corporal punishment [news]
- COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Launch of Platform on Children's Rights [events]
- Latest news and reports
This list is the primary means of communication for NGOs interested in the UN Study on Violence Against Children and for the Subgroup on Children and Violence. Updates are sent approximately once a month. Please feel free to forward these updates to others who may be interested.
If you do not receive this email in html format, you will not be able to see some hyperlinks in the text. At the end of each item we have therefore provided a full URL linking to a web page where further information is available.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN: Secretary-General Names Special Representative [news]
[NEW YORK, 1 May 2009] - It has been a long time coming, and some lost heart altogether, but the UN has finally answered the calls of child rights advocates across the world and appointed a top-level official on violence against children.
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon today announced the appointment of Marta Santos Pais as his Special Representative on Violence Against Children (SRSG).
Human Rights Watch's Jo Becker, co-Chair of the NGO Advisory Council for the follow-up to the UN Study on Violence Against Children, told CRIN: "We’ve waited a long time for this appointment, and are delighted that Marta Santos Pais will be taking on this critical new mandate.
"The SRSG will be a powerful voice for children, and a force to challenge the entrenched laws, attitudes and practices that still cause children to suffer intolerable violence. We are incredibly eager to work with her to make sure that the important recommendations that came out of the UN Study are fully implemented."
The establishment of the post was one of 12 recommendations of the UN Study on Violence Against Children, concluded in 2006.
The Study, by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, found that millions of children throughout the world live with the devastating effects of violence, including injuries, disabilities, life-long emotional and psychological effects, sometimes death, as well as significant economic and other costs to society.
The study recommended that "governments act to establish a Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence against Children (SRSG)." The role of the SRSG would be to " act as a high-profile global advocate to promote prevention and elimination of all violence against children".
The new role
Marta Santos Pais is currently Executive Director of UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, based in Florence, Italy. She also served on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Peter Newell, Co-Chair of the NGO Advisory Council and Coordinator of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, said the new position was crucial.
He said: “Making a success of this long-awaited appointment is of huge importance to children in all States. Marta’s demonstrated deep commitment to children’s status as rights holders, her fearless advocacy of difficult issues and her very broad international experience should enable her and her office to quickly build on the momentum established by Paulo Pinheiro’s Study.
"The task, as the Study set out, is enormous and urgent. As Paulo reported to the UN in 2007: “Children are sick of being called ‘the future’: they want to enjoy their childhood, free of violence, now!””.
In October 2007, the NGO Advisory Council launched a petition, signed by over 1,000 NGOs from across the world, calling on Member States to implement the Study's recommendations, including the appointment of the SRSG.
The 2007 General Assembly resolution on the rights of the child endorsed the NGO request, demanding that the "the Secretary-General... appoint for a period of three years a Special Representative on violence against children, at the highest possible level" (58)1. The resolution was adopted on 18 December 2007 by a vote of 183 to 1.
The GA's resolution on the rights of the child in November 2008 went on to express "deep concern about the delay in the appointment of a new Special Representative on violence against children [...] and requests the Secretary-General to fully comply with the request and to take urgent action to appoint, in accordance with the resolution, at the highest possible level and without delay, a Special Representative".
During the debate on the rights of the child at the Human Rights Council session in March, a number of experts from the UN, representatives from Europe and Latin America, as well as a number of States, expressed their concern regarding the delay in the appointment and called, once again, on the SG to appoint the SRSG without further delay.
* Mission Impossible: In search of an SRSG
* HRC session
* NGO Petition
* UN Study on Violence Against Children
* Key findings of the Violence Study
* Overarching recommendations of the Study
* Information about the NGO Advisory Council
For more information, contact:
Child Rights Information Network - CRIN
East Studio, 2 Pontypool Place, London SE1 8QF, UK.
T: +44 20 7401 2257
E: info at crin.org
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Inter-American Court confirms obligation to prohibit all corporal punishment [news]
[30 March 2009] - The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has confirmed the human rights obligations of Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment of children.
In December 2008 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights formally asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to issue an advisory opinion on whether corporal punishment of children is compatible with various articles in the American Convention on Human Rights and the American Declaration of Human Rights and Duties.
Referring to articles 1 (non-discrimination), 2 (obligation to adapt domestic law to the American Convention), 5 (right to humane treatment) and 19 (rights of the child) of the American Convention and article VII (right to protection for mothers and children) of the American Declaration, the Commission asked the Court whether these provisions, in light of the best interests of the child, oblige OAS Member States (1) to “regulate paternal authority and protection in such a way as to protect children against all forms of corporal punishment”; and (2) to “adopt legislative and other measures for the purpose of ensuring that children are not subjected to corporal punishment as a method of discipline within the family, at school or in institutions”.
The basis for the Commission’s petition was, firstly, that there is no standard in the Inter-American context which clearly states that corporal punishment should be prohibited because it is incompatible with respect for human rights and, secondly, that corporal punishment is widely practised and in most states is lawful, and although nearly all states have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, very few have adapted their national laws in line with the Convention. The Commission argued that a statement by the Court on the issue would have a positive influence on elimination and prohibition of corporal punishment through legislative and other reforms in the states concerned.
In its response to the request, the Court makes it clear that there is no need to issue an advisory opinion on this matter because the questions can be answered with reference to the existing jurisprudence of the Court, “as well as from the obligations issued by other international instruments ratified by the States in the region”.
The Court refers to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and notes that the obligation of states to respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents is subject to “the duty to establish the best interests of the child as the fundamental elements of his or her upbringing and development, whether this be in the hands of the child’s parents or legal guardians”. The Court also refers to the rights of the child to respect for their human dignity with regard to school discipline (article 28 of the Convention) and to protection from all forms of violence (article 19) and from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 37).
With reference to General Comment No. 8 adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Court draws particular attention to the definitions of “corporal punishment” and “other cruel or degrading forms of punishment”, their incompatibility with the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the home and family as in any other environment, and the standards set by the Committee for protecting children against corporal punishment which include legislative, educational, monitoring and evaluation measures. The Court stresses the Committee’s view that “eliminating the violence and humiliating punishment of children is an immediate and unqualified obligation of the States Parties”.
The Court also highlights its own jurisprudence which has emphasised, for example, that children “have rights and are not just an object of protection”, that they have the same rights as all human beings, that the State must protect these rights in the private as well as the public sphere, and that this requires legislative as well as other measures.
The protection of children against corporal punishment begins with the adoption of a legal provision banning the use of corporal punishment, but its effective implementation compels the state to ensure appropriate mechanisms, programs and policies to support families in learning and using positive discipline to upbringing their children. Only in this manner can a state ensure less violent societies that respect human rights.
The full text of the Court’s decision is available in English (unofficial translation) and Spanish. General Comment No. 8 adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child is available in English, Spanish and French. See also the IACHR press release in English and in Spanish.
* Child rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
* CRIN news page on the inter-American human rights system
* IACHR website
For more information, contact:
Angels Simon, Save the Children Sweden on angels.simon at scslat.org
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Launch of Platform on Children's Rights [events]
Date: 2-3 June 2009
Location: Strasbourg, France
The Council of Europe is setting up a platform on children's rights, including a network of focal points and representatives of civil society, ombudspersons, international organisations and experts, and research institutions. Priority item on the agenda – endorse the future guidelines on integrated national strategies for the protection of children against violence.
The launching of Council of Europe Platform on Children’s Rights will pursue the following objectives:
* provide a forum for the discussion and promotion of the draft Council of Europe Policy Guidelines on National Integrated Strategies for the protection of children against violence, and review progress of its implementation ;
* to seek individual member States’ commitment for the adoption and implementation of such strategies at national level;
* to suggests ways for a cross-sectoral exchange of experiences between countries with regard to effective methods of protecting children from all forms of violence;
* to discuss European follow up to the recommendations included in the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, in co-operation with the UN Secretary General Special Representative on violence against children (this may entail in particular the preparation of a report for the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in 2010);
* to ensure a follow up to the III World Congress against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (Rio, 25-28 November 2008), e.g. by launching an awareness raising campaign, supporting efforts towards the ratification of relevant CoE Conventions and the adoption of national legislation in conformity with those standards, promoting cross border collaboration and the promotion of exchange of information, and the coordination and monitoring of progress on the protection of children from sexual exploitation; and
* to develop specific action to protect vulnerable children.
Further information will be made available on the Council of Europe website.
For more information, contact:
Building a Europe for and with children
DG III- Social Cohesion / Council of Europe
B Building - Office B137
F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel: +33 3 88 41 22 62
Email: elda.moreno at coe.int
- Latest news and reports
JORDAN: Call for laws on violence against children, 30 April 2009, Jordan Times
Go to: http://www..crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=20162
INDIA: School girl dead following school beating, 17 April 2009, Bombay Times
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=20090
SIERRA LEONE: Chiefs ban genital cutting for girls under 18, 16 April 2009, IRIN News
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=20062
MOLDOVA: Corporal punishment banned in all settings, 02 April 2009, Council of Europe
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=19993
VIOLENCE: Doorways Training Manuals On School-Related Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response, 17/04/2009 | USAID - Office of Women in Development
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=20091
USA: Report on Physical Punishment - What Research Tells Us About Its Effects on Children, 27 March, 2009, Phoenix Children's Hospital
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=19954
CHILD FRIENDLY JUSTICE: Protecting children from violence and sexual offences, 13 March 2009, Council of Europe
Go to: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=19825
More news and reports here: www.crin.org/violence
This Update is an electronic mailing list of the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN). CRIN does not accredit, validate or substantiate any information posted by members to this Update. The validity and accuracy of any information is the responsibility of the originator.
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