HRC 49- Joint NGO Statement on Interactive Dialogue with SRSG on Violence Against Children

Human Rights Council 49th Session

Interactive Dialogue with SRSG on Violence Against Children

Geneva, Switzerland

15 March 2022 

Oral statement delivered by Arigatou International on behalf of Arigatou International, ATD Fourth World, Child Rights Connect, Defence for Children International, Save the Children International and World Vision International

Madam Special Representative, distinguished panellists,

This is a joint statement

We welcome the good practices and recommendations identified by the Special Representative to ensure the realization of children’s right to live free from violence and to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Each year, half of the world’s children are directly affected by violence. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted lockdown efforts that raised further the risk of violence, hunger, child labour, child marriage, and school dropouts—particularly among girls. It also reduced possibilities for children to engage in activities supporting their healthy development and promoting their right to be heard[1]Significant gaps in government laws, policies, programmes and budgets to respond to violence against children[2] have also been aggravated by the responses to COVID-19. 

It is urgent and critical to scale up investment in integrated services for children and their caregivers and to ensure that prevention and response to violence against children is highest on the political and financial agenda as part of the economic and social recovery plans. Evidence-based guidance to support national plans and actions to eliminate all violence against children is critical in the efforts to build back better and further.

We therefore call on governments and decision makers to:

  • Fully recognize and support children as rights holders and to strengthen systems at all levels to enable children’s safe and meaningful participation in matters affecting their lives. This includes the development and review of services, policies, budgets and other frameworks, particularly on ending all violence;
  • Prioritize the prevention of violence against children into national economic growth and development strategies, as an integral part of investing in human capital, and fastrack such investments in post COVID-19 national recovery strategies and beyond;
  • Increase investment in integrated, evidence-based approaches for the prevention of violence across all services for children that are sensitive to age, gender, and diversity, to ensure prevention and response services that reach the most vulnerable and marginalized children and their families.
  • Implement policy tracking mechanisms for investments in childrento guarantee policy cohesion, accountability, and aid effectiveness.

[1] Joining Forces (2021), Children’s Right to be Heard: We’re talking, are you listening?

[2] World Vision (2019) “Small Cracks, Big Gaps: How governments allow violence against children to persist”

Download the Statement Here