Tomorrow (14 September), Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will meet Marta Santos Pais, UN Special Representative on Violence against Children. After their talks, the Minister will hand over a symbolic cheque for 150,000 USD to Ms Santos Pais. This contribution from the Federal Foreign Office is intended to support the UN Special Representative’s work.
The Special Representative’s task is to focus attention around the world on the problem of violence against children and to help establish protection of children’s rights as a cross-cutting task for all areas of policy. Even today, children are all too often the victims of violence. It is estimated that each year 275 million children worldwide witness violent arguments within their families. The corporal punishment of children is still a daily occurrence in a number of countries. The Special Representative’s remit also encompasses the fight against child pornography and violence on the Internet.
Marta Santos Pais, born in Portugal in 1952, was appointed by the UN Secretary-General for three years on 1 May 2009. She was appointed following the UN study on Violence against Children, which called for such a post to be established. Ms Santos Pais has many years’ experience in the field of children’s rights within UN institutions. She is currently in Berlin at the invitation of the German UNICEF Committee.