UN Special Representative on Violence against children meets with adolescents at the start of her visit to Nicaragua
Managua, November 9, 2009 - The United Nations Special Representative on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, met with Nicaraguan adolescents today at the start of a visit to their country.
Her purpose is to inform Nicaraguan children and adolescents of how the United Nations will follow up on the recommendations resulting from the World Study on Violence against Children, as well as reactivation of the monitoring of states’ compliance with those recommendations.
“We have to demonstrate to the world that together we can make a difference,” stressed Ms. Santos Pais. “Your participation is essential for following up on the study’s recommendations.”
Adolescent representatives from different Nicaraguan municipalities told Ms. Santos Pais about their own experiences with violence, the different forms of violence to which they are subjected, how they are using their participation arenas to address the problem, and their proposals for responding to it. They also discussed and suggested ways of following up on the UN’s World Study on Violence against Children, conducted in 2006.
They presented her with a pronouncement that included the following statement: “Today we want everybody to view violence as a social problem, a problem that is affecting all children and adolescents in all spheres, that stops us from growing, that has us submerged in fear and makes us believe that we are in a culture that is never going to change. Today we are demanding that civil society, the authorities and the family assume their role in applying norms that prohibit any kind of violence against children and adolescents.”
In response, the UN Special Representative expressed her satisfaction with the adolescents’ contributions and proposals, which will be used as inputs for her work.
She is also due to meet with the Nicaraguan President and ministers of state, as well as leaders from the Coordinating Group of Organizations Working for Children’s Rights (CODENI) and the media.
Nicaragua is the second country she has visited since being named by the UN Secretary General in July to follow up on the recommendations resulting from the World Study on Violence against Children.
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