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The Ljubljana Final Conclusions

© UNICEF/SWZK00331/Schuepp
Elena and Avto, two of the young participants at the Regional Consultation

MEDIA ADVISORY

July 7, 2005

Full text of the Ljubljana Final Conclusions, adopted by delegates to the Regional Consultation on Violence against Children (Slovenia, 5-7 July): 

Aware of all forms of violence against children taking place across different settings, including the home and family, schools and residential institutions, in the workplace and in the community, including as a consequence of acts of terrorism, conflicts and war,

Emphasizing the importance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as its Optional Protocols as the standard for the protection of children from all forms of violence and that its provisions as well as other relevant international human rights instruments, including the Convention against Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, must constitute the minimum framework for addressing all forms of violence against children,

Recalling the importance of effectively implementing regional treaties for the prevention of all forms of violence against children, including the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Protocol, as well as of ratifying and implementing without delay the European Convention on Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes, the Revised European Social Charter and its Additional Protocol and the Convention on Contact concerning children, the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of terrorism and particularly its provisions concerning victims,

Bearing in mind the final recommendations adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its 2000 and 2001 Days of General Discussion on respectively “State violence against children” and “Violence against children within the family and in school”, the general body of jurisprudence of the Committee on all forms of violence as well as of other relevant human rights treaty bodies, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights,

Recognising the diversity of settings in which violence against children takes place across the Europe and Central Asia region and that factors such as gender, ethnic or social origin and disability put some children at greater risk than others; recognising that the wall of silence around violence in the family including corporal punishment, remains to be broken; recognising that violence in schools and out-of-school settings, public and private institutions and workplaces needs to be better monitored, and that prevention efforts need to be prioritised; recognising equally the diversity of opportunities to prevent violence and protect victims through different socio-economic structures and programmes,

Being aware that violence poses a large burden on the physical and mental health of children, with long lasting consequences on their holistic development, often only manifested later in life,    

We, the participants, recognise the importance of a child rights approach in order to bridge the gap between standards and reality, and the challenge of changing perceptions in society, in structures of governance and at an individual level, of what are acceptable ways of behaving towards children. We agree to take the following actions as a matter of priority:

1. Develop and put into action, with the active assistance of civil society organisations, measures at all levels to prevent violence against children through interdisciplinary and participatory approaches that include professionals from different sectors and backgrounds, parents and children, and which are supported at the highest possible political level;

2. Ratify relevant international treaties, enact, amend or repeal all domestic legislation as necessary in order to prohibit all forms of violence against children including corporal punishment and humiliating treatment, and take all necessary measures to prevent and sanction such offences against children; also pay special attention to the development of juvenile justice procedures to prevent violence against children in all stages of the process;

3. Give the highest visibility and political importance to the prevention of violence against girls and boys, including, for example, the launching of public information campaigns to raise awareness about the scope and negative consequences of all forms of violence; and to do this by means of developing sustainable partnerships with children, parents, civil society, the private sector, new information technology industries and mass media;

4. Upgrade technical, legal, procedural and institutional capacity across relevant sectors, such as education, health, justice, protection services and labour inspections to identify violence and put in place appropriate evidence-based strategies and explicit family and child policies to prevent violence, support child victims and strengthen reporting, referral and response;

5. Seek to establish, analyse and regularly monitor, the extent of different forms of violence against children, collect disaggregated data by sex, age and other relevant factors, including the sources of discrimination that make some groups of children particularly vulnerable to violence, and systematically evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of interventions to protect children from violence, as well as efforts to provide timely assistance and address the consequences of abuse, including its social and economic cost for society;

6.  Intervene in an early, effective, gender sensitive and child friendly manner to prevent victimization and re-victimization, through development of sensitive procedures and mechanisms, including provision of confidential advice; child-friendly judicial proceedings, and supportive health and protection services to ensure the physical and psycho-social recovery of affected children and young offenders;

7. Develop systematic and integrated education on child protection, encourage  training for parents, all relevant professional groups and the mass media, that include information on human rights standards, on non-violent methods of conflict resolution and discipline, as well as on child development and the rights of children with special needs;

 8. Strengthen and develop further all forms of international and cross-border co-operation, including prevention of criminal activities, in order to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children and to ensure that perpetrators of such violence do not escape justice and receive appropriate treatment;

9. Create opportunities for children and young people to play a more active role in addressing violence, equipping children with the knowledge and skills to be better able to recognise violence, and establishing mechanisms to ensure their participation in situation analysis, research and monitoring, and in the design of laws and policies that affect them;    

We, participants from all the countries of the European and Central Asian Region, agree that these 9 steps will be the first important steps that we will take at domestic and regional level to address violence against children.

For more information:

Angela Hawke, Communication Officer, UNICEF CEE/CIS: (+4122) 909 5433, e-mail: ahawke@unicef.org

 

 
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