UN GA Resolution 2008: Section on Violence Against Children

III Elimination of violence against children

47. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the independent expert for the United Nations study on violence against children,30 and notes the very positive response to the study from Member States and the progress made in translating and disseminating widely the study, the complementary World Report on Violence against Children, prepared by the independent expert, and the innovative child friendly version of the report and educational materials;

48. Encourages all States and requests United Nations entities, regional organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to continue to widely disseminate and follow up on the study;

49. Urges all States to exercise leadership to end all forms of violence against children and support advocacy in this regard at all levels, including at the local, national, regional and international levels, and by all sectors, especially by political, community and religious leaders, as well as the public and private sectors, the media and civil society;

50. Requests the relevant organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the organizations that are members of the Inter-Agency Group on Violence against Children, to continue to explore ways and means, within their respective mandates, by which they can contribute more effectively to addressing the need to prevent and to respond to all forms of violence against children;

51. Invites all relevant international and regional human rights mechanisms, as appropriate, including relevant treaty bodies, in particular the Committee on the Rights of the Child and special procedures, to consider how to use most effectively their respective mandates to contribute to the elimination of violence against children;

52. Condemns all forms of violence against children, including physical, mental, psychological and sexual violence, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, child abuse and exploitation, hostage-taking, domestic violence, trafficking in or sale of children and their organs, paedophilia, child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism, gang-related violence, bullying and harmful traditional practices, and urges States to strengthen efforts to prevent and protect children from all such violence through a comprehensive approach and to develop a multifaceted and systematic framework, which is integrated into national planning processes, to respond to violence against children;

53. Also condemns all kinds of abduction of children, in particular extortive abduction and abduction of children in situations of armed conflict, including for the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts, and urges States to take all appropriate measures to secure their unconditional release, rehabilitation, reintegration and reunification with their families;

54. Urges all States to strengthen international cooperation and mutual assistance to prevent and protect children from all forms of violence and to end impunity for crimes against children;

55. Recognizes the contribution of the International Criminal Court in ending impunity for the most serious crimes against children, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and calls upon States not to grant amnesties for such crimes;

56. Acknowledges the contributions of the international criminal tribunals and special courts in ending impunity for the most serious crimes against children, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;

57. Urges all States:

(a) To take effective and appropriate legislative and other measures or, where they exist, strengthen legislation to prohibit and eliminate all forms of violence against children;
(b) To consider taking appropriate measures to assert the right of children to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity and to prohibit and eliminate any emotional or physical violence or any other humiliating or degrading treatment;
(c) To give priority attention to the prevention of all forms of violence against children and to addressing its underlying causes, through a systematic, comprehensive and multifaceted approach;
(d) To protect children from all forms of violence or abuse by all those who work with and for children, including in educational settings, as well as by government officials, such as the police, law enforcement authorities and employees and officials in detention centres or welfare institutions;
(e) To end impunity for perpetrators of crimes against children, investigate and prosecute such acts of violence and impose appropriate penalties;
(f) To recognize that persons convicted of violent offences against and sexual abuse of children who continue to pose a risk of harm to children should be prevented from working with children;
(g) To actively engage with children and respect their views in all aspects of prevention, response and monitoring of violence against them, taking into account article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
(h) To ensure national research and documentation to identify vulnerable groups of children, inform policy and programmes at all levels and track progress and best practices towards preventing all forms of violence against children;
(i) To strive to change attitudes that condone or normalize any form of violence against children, including cruel, inhuman or degrading forms of discipline, harmful traditional practices and all forms of sexual violence;
(j) To take measures to promote constructive and positive forms of discipline and child development approaches in all settings, including the home, schools and other educational settings and throughout care and justice systems;
(k) To take measures to ensure that all those who work with and for children protect children from bullying and implement preventive and anti-bullying policies;
(l) To establish and develop safe, well-publicized, confidential and accessible mechanisms to enable children, their representatives and others to report violence against children as well as to file complaints in cases of violence against children;
(m) To address the gender dimension of all forms of violence against children and incorporate a gender perspective in all policies adopted and actions taken to protect children against all forms of violence, acknowledging that girls and boys face varying risks from different forms of violence at different ages and in different situations, and in this context recalls the agreed conclusions on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women at its fifty-first session;
(n) To further develop the capacity of all those who work with and for children and families to contribute to the elimination of all forms of violence against children, by investing in systematic education and training programmes, both initial and in-service, on preventing, detecting and responding to violence against children; norms, such as guidelines or codes of conduct, incorporating the rejection of all forms of violence against children, should be formulated and implemented;
(o) To ensure that all victims of violence have access to appropriate childsensitive health and social services; special attention should be paid to the genderspecific needs of girls and boys who are victims of violence;

58. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint for a period of three years a Special Representative on violence against children, at the highest possible level, after which time the mandate should be evaluated, including with regard to its funding, and ensure that the necessary support is made available to the Special Representative for the effective and independent performance of his/her mandate, encourages the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization to cooperate with and provide support to the Special Representative, including financial support, and calls upon States and institutions concerned, and invites the private sector, to provide voluntary contributions for that purpose;

59. Recommends that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, taking care to avoid duplication with relevant United Nations mechanisms and treaty bodies:

(a) Act as a high-profile and independent global advocate to promote the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against children in all regions, acting as a catalyst to stimulate the engagement of Member States and civil society to prevent and respond to violence against children, keeping the issue high on the international agenda and maintaining the attention to the issue of violence against children achieved through the process of the United Nations study on violence against children;
(b) Promote and support, in cooperation with Member States, the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations study on violence against children, where appropriate, recommending measures, ways and means at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate violence against children and its causes and to remedy its consequences, promoting and ensuring country ownership of national plans and programmes in this regard;
(c) Identify and share good practices to prevent and respond to violence against children, between States and across regions, assist Member States in their efforts to develop more comprehensive and systematic data collection on violence against children, and ensure cross-fertilization of experiences between the various sectors addressing violence against children, including those focused on human rights, child protection, well-being, development, public health and education;
(d) Work closely and cooperate fully with relevant United Nations treaty bodies and mechanisms, including, but not limited to, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, within their respective mandates, building upon existing inter-agency structures, and bearing in mind the ongoing process of the reviewing of mandates in the Human Rights Council;
(e) Also work closely and cooperate with the United Nations system and the existing  mandates of United Nations funds and programmes and specialized agencies that have responsibilities in the area of violence against children, in particular those that are members of the Inter-Agency Group on Violence against Children;
(f) Establish a mutually supportive collaboration with civil society, including relevant non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and work to promote the increased involvement of children and young people in initiatives to prevent and respond to violence against children;

60. Urges Governments and requests the specialized agencies, relevant United Nations organs that work in the area of violence against children and regional, intergovernmental and civil society organizations, including non-governmental organizations, as well as relevant United Nations mechanisms and treaty bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child, to cooperate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and to provide information, where appropriate, on the measures adopted to ensure and respect the right of children to be protected from violence;

61. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, upon his/her appointment, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to cooperate and coordinate their activities, bearing in mind their complementarity, and in this regard to ensure between them, within their respective mandates, that the situations of all children subject to or at risk of violence are addressed, including those of armed conflict, foreign occupation, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism or hostage-taking, or where  peacekeeping operations are deployed, in order to ensure that no child is left uncovered;

62. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children to report annually to the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the Economic and Social Council and to ensure that this reporting contains relevant, accurate and objective information on violence against children, taking into account the views of Member States and observers, the outcome of the special sessions of the Assembly on children and the United Nations study on violence against children, bearing in mind existing mandates;

Follow-up

63. Decides:
(a) To request the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session a report on the rights of the child, containing information on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child2 and the issues addressed in the present resolution;
(b) To request the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to continue to submit reports to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council on the progress achieved and the remaining challenges on the children and armed conflict agenda;
(c) To invite the Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to present an oral report on the work of the Committee to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session as a way to enhance communication between the Assembly and the Committee;
(d) To continue its consideration of the question at its sixty-third session under the item entitled “Promotion and protection of the rights of children”, focusing section III of the resolution on the rights of the child on “Child labour, with a special emphasis on its causes, including poverty and lack of education” in 2008 and on “The right of the child to express his/her views freely in all matters affecting him/her” in 2009.

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