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HRC44: Nordic-Baltic countries address SRSG on Violence against Children

Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with
SRSG Violence against children
2 July 2020
Statement by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic & Baltic countries

Madame President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Iceland. We thank the Special Representative for her valuable work and express our support for her mandate.

The fact underlined by the Special Representative, that violence against children remains hidden and pervasive, is a terrible truth. The number of children that have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence or neglect is staggering. Every such instance constitutes a violation or abuse of the rights of the child. Behind each number is a child that is not only affected in the short-term but may become scarred for life from what they see or experience.

We therefore thank the Special Representative for bringing attention to the impact of violence on children’s mental health and their long-term well-being. It underlines the importance of mainstreaming our response and ensuring that we make every effort to prevent bullying and violence against children and the mental health trauma they may be exposed to; but also that we provide care to those that experience violence or are exposed to it throughout their life. This is particularly relevant today as measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 come with heightened risk to children, underlining the importance of the continuity of child-centered services (such as child protection programmes).

In that regard, could we ask the Special Representative, what are the key factors to consider when designing enabling and effective strategies to protect children’s mental health and well-being?
I thank you.

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