UN appoints new Special Representative on Violence Against Children
With overwhelming support, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on November 27, 2007 to create a high-profile Special Representative position to the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence Against Children. The position will provide independent global leadership to promote the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against children around the world. Child advocacy groups have been calling for this position for several years, citing the high-level post as necessary to ensure strong direction on the issue, and facilitate effective cooperation within the UN system. The resolution passed with a vote of 176 – 1. The sole dissenting vote came from the United States.
Groups supporting the creation of the post assert that the new SRSG can work in collaboration and cooperation with the SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict. While the two subjects relate, the new position on Violence Against Children will focus more broadly and include children who are the victims of violence outside of war-torn regions.
Part of the impetus for creating this new position came from the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children released in 2006. The study exposed the shocking scope of violence against children worldwide and its devastating effects on children, their families, their communities, and broader society. An international Non-Governmental Organization Advisory Council was formed to enhance the follow-up on the 2006 report. Members of the council look forward to working with the new SRSG, expecting the person to enhance the visibility of all forms of violence against children, advocate for the elimination of this violence, and support the implementation of the study’s recommendations. According to stipulations within the resolution, some of the SRSG responsibilities include identifying and sharing good practices, and enhancing coordination and communication among key actors (including the UN system, member states, NGOs, children and youth).
For more information, see:
UN appoints special representative on violence against children (November 2007)
UN’s Study on Violence Against Children (October 2006)
UN: New Post to combat Violence Against Children (Human Rights Watch article, November 2007)