Conflict – Sexual Violence – Children
Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Committee on the Rights of the Child Join Together to Protect and Promote the Rights of Children Impacted by Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
14 February, 2020
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Pramila Patten, and the Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee), Mr. Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna, welcomed the signing of a Framework of Cooperation between the Office of the Special Representative and the Committee during the 83rd session of the Committee in Geneva.
“With this Framework of Cooperation, the CRC Committee and my Office affirm our common commitment to promote and protect the rights of children affected by, or at risk of, conflict-related sexual violence”, said Special Representative Patten. “Children impacted by conflict-related sexual violence are rights-holders and therefore entitled to protection, justice, physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration, as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, added Mr. Pedernera.
This Framework reaffirms that the response to conflict-related sexual violence requires a survivor-centered, rights-based approach that prioritizes the unique needs and best interests of children affected by sexual violence, including children conceived through rape. The Framework is based on the premise that the denial of the rights of children affected by conflict-related sexual violence is irreconcilable with human rights’ claim to universality. It is also a threat to international peace and security and is in contravention of the principle of the Sustainable Development Goals, “Leave No one Behind”.
This initiative aims at advancing national level implementation of the rights of children affected by conflict-related sexual violence, through the implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions on sexual violence and the Committee’s concluding observations to States parties. It also aims at enhancing cooperation in the conduct of research and collection of data to promote accountability of Member States and other actors in regard to the obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and other relevant international obligations and standards.
SRSG Patten and CRC Chair Pedernera stated: “This Framework of Cooperation provides a roadmap to guide our joint efforts to tackle the structural drivers of sexual violence against children. By fostering compliance with international norms, we can prevent and deter these horrific crimes, and ensure that they do not go unpunished. Together, we will continue to support duty-bearers to meet their obligations, and for all children to realize their rights.”
This Framework of Cooperation is the second agreement between the Office of the Special Representative and a United Nations human rights treaty body, following the signature, in July 2018, of a similar framework with the Committee on the Elimination Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee).