Ban taps UNICEF research director for violence against children post

1 May 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Marta Santos Pais of Portugal, who has over 25 years of experience working on human rights issues, as his Special Representative on Violence Against Children, his spokesperson announced today.

“This appointment was made following the recommendation included in the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children,” Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.

The 2006 Study provided an understanding of the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of different forms of violence against children (physical, psychological, and sexual), taking into account five main settings in which violence takes place – the family, schools, care and residential institutions as well as detention facilities and prisons, in work situations, and in communities and on the streets.

The General Assembly, in a resolution adopted in 2007, requested the Secretary-General to appoint for a period of three years a Special Representative on Violence Against Children, who will 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.”

Since 2001, Ms. Santos Pais has been Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Innocenti Research Centre, founded to raise global understanding of children’s rights and promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in both industrialized and developing countries.

She brings to her new post almost 30 years of experience in human rights law, including her role in the drafting of the CRC and, more recently, its two Optional Protocols.


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