Os ministros das Relações Exteriores dos Estados Unidos, do Brasil e dos Países Baixos, Hillary Clinton, Celso Amorim e Maxime Verhagen, respectivamente, fizeram um comunicado após encontro ministerial, cujo tema foi o “Combate à Violência contra Meninas”, realizado na sede das Nações Unidas, em 25 de setembro. O documento traz considerações e dados sobre a exploração sexual, trabalho infantil e abuso das crianças no lar e na família, além de propostas de combate à violência contra meninas em todo o mundo.
Há ainda o compromisso de expandir a cooperação entre os países, fortalecendo medidas de responsabilização no âmbito policial e do judiciário, e também o investimento em prevenção e programas de advocacia que tratam de violência contra meninas. É de interesse dos países que o trabalho seja em conjunto com a comunidade civil, inclusive homens e líderes religiosos. O comunicado assegura também que os mecanismos para denunciar casos de violência serão seguros, conhecidos, confidenciais e acessíveis.
1. An estimated 100 million girls are killed because of the growing practice of female foeticide;
2. Each year 14 million girls and women between the ages of 15 and 19 (both married and unmarried) give birth;
3. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die as those in their twenties due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth;
4. Younger women and adolescent girls are more vulnerable to gender-based violence. Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls aged 15 years or younger;
5. An estimated 121 million children currently do not attend primary school, out of which a majority are girls;
6. 82 million girls who are between the ages of 10 and 17 will be married before their 18th birthday despite laws forbidding this;
7. An estimated 100 million girls are involved in child labour: many have little or no access to education and many are working in situations that place their health and safety in serious danger;
8. Many girls take on unpaid household work for their families, usually more so than boys. This work may include childcare, cooking, cleaning, and fetching water and fuel. Girls often also have to combine long hours of household chores with some form of economic activity outside the household presenting girls with a “double burden.” This can have a negative impact on their ability to attend school and can present a physical danger to girls.
Through this Side Event, the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands highlight the importance the international community places in addressing this critical issue. As stated in the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children (Pinheiro, 2006) “no violence against children is justifiable and all violence against children is preventable.” With the recent appointment by the UN Secretary-General of a Special Representative on Violence against Children, Mrs. Marta Santos Pais, we have created a new momentum to put words into action. We are convinced that strengthening international cooperation in this crucial area will contribute to fostering the protection of human rights all over the world.
We are deeply concerned at the high incidence of sexual exploitation of female children and adolescents across countries from all over the world. The misuse of new technologies, such as the internet, and the greater mobility in travel and tourism, have increased the risks and require a more concerted effort worldwide to eliminate this scourge. We appeal to the international community to further cooperate to prevent, prohibit and stop sexual exploitation of female children and adolescents, and to provide the necessary support to those who have fallen victim to it, as called for in the ‘Rio Declaration and Call for Action’, adopted at the World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, held in Rio de Janeiro, from November 25th to 28th, 2008.
Marta Santos Pais will deliver her first official speech as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and will play an important role during this event. We – the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands – commit to support the Special Representative in her role as a high-profile global advocate and to encourage countries to implement policies and programmes and /or take other successful initiatives that will eliminate all violence against children, with a particular focus on girls.
We – the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands –agree to be responsive to the Special Representative on Violence against Children in order to allow her to fulfil her mandate.
We – the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands – acknowledge the importance of the goals of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), its Optional Protocols on the Involvement of Children and Armed Conflict and on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Rio de Janeiro Declaration and Call for Action to Prevent and Stop Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents and will join hands in the reaffirmation of our commitment to protect our children and children everywhere.
We – the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands – will also look for other ways to continue and expand our cooperation in combating violence against girls, including strengthening accountability measures within law enforcement and the judiciary, investing in prevention and advocacy programs that address violence against girls, and engaging with civil society, including men and religious leaders, to address this critical issue. We agree on the importance of improving data collection on violence against girls as part of our common agenda. We will also ensure that mechanisms for children and others to report violence are safe, known, confidential and accessible. We will endeavour to promote additional child help lines in countries where these do not yet exist or provide training to improve help line services and implement other support services for girls. We will support successful experiences which reinforce the ability of States, relevant actors and of children and adolescent themselves to promote and protect their rights.
We will commit to consult children and youth in discussions and in the development of policies concerning children. We will stress, at an international level, the importance of initiating exchange programs addressing children’s issues. The United States already supports exchange programs through its International Visitors Leadership Program on such topics as primary and secondary education, community approaches to social issues which often address children’s issues, and youth and civic activism. To underline the importance of child and youth participation, two girls from Zambia and Brazil will participate in the Side Event. Thandiwe Chama and Mayra Avellar Neves, both winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize, will share their experiences in personally speaking up for their rights and improving the situation for many children.
By organising this Side Event the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands show their commitment to combating all forms of violence against girls: child abuse in the home and family, sexual exploitation, rape and other sexual violence in situations of armed conflict, forced child labour, violence in schools and other institutions, and violence in the community generally. No violence is acceptable!
The United States, Brazil and the Netherlands expect the UN to keep this important theme high on its agenda. In this regard, we welcome the recent adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1882 on children in armed conflict. The reports provided by the newly-appointed Special Representative on Violence against Children, as well as others (Special Representative on Children in Armed Conflict and the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography) will stimulate further action to end violence against girls.”