Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Edgardo Riveros, met with Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children. Also at the meeting was the UNICEF Representative in Chile, Hai Kyung Jun.
The Special Representative of the UN mission is in Chile to participate in the International Seminar "Towards a State of Rights Guarantor for Children and Adolescents," organized by the National Council for Children, in a decisive year for the rights of children as it is the 25th anniversary of our country's ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, at the governmental level, the creation of a comprehensive System of Guarantees on the Rights of Children and Adolescents is being worked on, which includes the implementation of public policies, laws, and institutions for the recognition of children and adolescents as subjects of right, ensuring their human rights.
Marta Santos was grateful for the support from the Government of Chile for its commitment to cooperate with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations system, with its mandate as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, and especially with the work of the Committee Children's Rights organization. Similarly, she acknowledged the progress regarding the approval in the Senate of the Third Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and emphasized the importance for Chile to ratify the Protocol.
Additionally, the Special Representative emphasized the joint effort led by the National Council for Children, together with other ministries, in implementing the Comprehensive Safeguards System, with special emphasis on the commitment made by the ministers of Finance, Justice, Social Development and Health. She requested that Chile exercise regional leadership in the process in negotiating the Post 2015 Development Agenda, including international debate, the situation of violence against children and adolescents, reiterating how crucial it is to address this phenomenon early on for the realization of peaceful and inclusive societies.
Under-Secretary Riveros, along with thanking the UN Special Representative for her kind words, agreed to highlight the work done by the National Council for Children in conjunction with the National Service for Minors in reducing vulnerability and insecurity both to minors in irregular situations as well as to juvenile offenders. He also acknowledged that the issue of violence against children is complex and sensitive, since there are various forms, such as verbal, psychological, moral, those forms occurring in a dysfunctional family environment, sometimes tort, phenomena that are difficult to investigate and punish but this does not prevent the strengthening of existing institutions to allow for an efficient system of prevention of violence against children, protecting their rights and interests.
Concerning the ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Under-Secretary Riveros said that this is a commitment of the Government of Chile and it will do everything in its power to accelerate this process and participate in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
The meeting provided an opportunity to address the national context of child offenders, violence against children and adolescents, the importance of including all children in the system of child protection, those without care, without parental care, separated from their families, migrant children, indigenous children, children with disabilities; the discussion on the age of criminal responsibility and the concept of restorative justice, which beyond the imposition of a penalty, is intended to achieve effective social reintegration of juvenile offenders, giving them a second chance.