BUENOS AIRES, 30 May 2005 – In the framework of the United Nations Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, international experts and representatives of governments, civil society and adolescents are meeting in Buenos Aires today until June 1st to analyze and gather information on violence against children in Latin America.
The meeting is the fourth of the nine consultations that will be conducted all over the world to analyze violence in several settings: family, school, institutions, community, work and media, with special focus on gender, ethnic origin and HIV/AIDS. The Latin America Consultation’s results and recommendations will be the key inputs from the region to the global Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children.
The Consultation was launched by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the Independent Expert in charge of the Study, Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, and Fernando Villalba, an adolescent from Argentina who is the spokesperson of all children participating in the Consultation.
“Latin America suffers a strong contradiction due to the inability of the democratic governments to end the authoritarian ways of treating children and adolescents. What is most striking in the continent is the authoritarian policies of institutionalization and imprisonment”, said Mr. Pinheiro. “The Study offers the opportunity to define tools to fight against this type of violence, and to this end we will have the inputs of States, civil society representatives and the voices of children and adolescents, as we have seen today”, he added.
The Consultation is one of the tools to gather information on violence against children for the Study as fully as possible. For this purpose, government officials, civil society representatives, experts, members of academic institutions from all Latin America and children from Argentina, are participating during three days in sessions and working groups to reflect accurately the realities of the region in the Study. One of the key inputs for this Consultation will be the report prepared by the Universidad del Valle, Colombia. This document is an analysis of research and studies on violence against children prepared in the region, and will be the basic document for the work sessions during the three days of the meeting.
One of the key elements of the United Nations Study is children’s participation in its preparation process. To this end, many NGOs from Latin America have organized consultations with children and adolescents from 17 countries to take into account their perspective and their recommendations for moving forward to end violence.
Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, said in a press conference that “the Latin America Consultation is an opportunity to break the silence about one of the biggest problems that face children in the region, and generate the will to confront and overcome violence against children.”
The goal of the study is to analyze the impact of violence on children’s development at the global level, identify good practices, develop strategies and promote action to prevent and eliminate violence against all people under the age of eighteen.
The Latin America Consultation has been organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in cooperation with the Government of Argentina, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Pan American Health Organization and a committee of regional NGOs set up to that effect.
For more information, please contact: Paula Chinellato, UNICEF Argentina. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. (54 11) 5093-7144. Mobile: From abroad: (0054) 9 11 49 73 32 86. From Argentina: 1549733286
María Blanco, The Americas and Caribbean Regional Office. Email: email@example.com From abroad: 0054-9-11- 5744-8797 From Argentina: 1549733286