EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STATEMENT
Stockholm, 14 February 2018
Ladies and gentlemen,
My thanks to the Government of Sweden for hosting this very important summit.
I am delighted to be here with my dear colleague Dr. Tedros, Director-General of WHO, to share with you what the UN family is doing to promote evidence-based policies and programmes to prevent and end violence against children.
The support the UN Office on Drugs and Crime provides to Member States under the INSPIRE package focuses on two areas, namely:
- the “I” for implementation and enforcement of laws, and
- the “R” for response and support services.
These efforts are part of UNODC’s comprehensive support to governments to achieve SDG target 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
Children represent a third of trafficking victims worldwide, and UNODC plays a leading role in supporting Member States to prevent and stop all forms of human trafficking.
We are also helping to counter online exploitation and abuse of children through our global cybercrime programme.
In order to achieve all of these objectives, we need accountable, inclusive and effective justice institutions.
The justice system plays a pivotal role in both preventing and responding to violence against children.
Justice system actors help to uphold rights, ensure accountability, and protect the socially weak and vulnerable.
Member States adopted the UN Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2014.
The Model Strategies provide a comprehensive action framework to help ensure that police, prosecution services and other criminal justice institutions understand their respective responsibilities and take these crimes with the seriousness they deserve.
Furthermore, the Model Strategies highlight the complementary roles of the justice system on the one hand, and the role of child protection, social welfare, health and education sectors on the other, in creating a protective environment.
As this Summit makes very clear, ending violence against children requires all of us to work together to tackle a very complex and multifaceted challenge.
We must move away from fragmented responses towards a systemic approach requiring coordinated action from different actors and institutions, whether at the local, country, regional or global level.
The INSPIRE Handbook provides guidance not only on how the health, justice and protection sectors can respond to the needs of children who have been victims of crime, but also how children in contact with the law, including those alleged to have committed offences, can be protected from re-victimization.
UNODC remains fully engaged in helping governments use the tools provided by INSPIRE and the Model Strategies.
We welcome our role in the Global Partnership, and we stand with you to advance the rights of all children, achieve the SDGs, and promote justice.