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National laws must be improved to protect children against violence, UN says

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1487 (Published 17 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1487
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Millions of children each year are subject to sexual violence, including rape, and up to 275 million witness domestic violence, UN human rights experts have said. Many of the one million children in detention facilities are often seriously abused, they add.

    Marta Santo Pais, the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy on violence against children, said it was important that countries have in place strong and effective legislation to protect child victims. Accessible, child sensitive counselling and mechanisms to investigate complaints are urgently needed, she added.

    Ms Santo Pais told a session of the 47 member state UN Human Rights Council: “Sexual violence has a dramatic and lasting impact on children’s physical and emotional health, on their development and education, …

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