Civil society meets in El Salvador to discuss and convey their recommendations to States on how to address violence in the Americas

Violence against children and adolescents 25 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); adolescents in conflict with the law and criminal liability systems; and, the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, are the three main topics to be discussed at the 2nd Civil Society Forum in San Salvador, El Salvador on 12 and 13 of August, 2014. The Forum will be held prior to the XXI Pan-American Child and Adolescent Congress which is to take place in December, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil.

The event is organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) in association with the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN), in coordination with the OAS Department of International Affairs (DIA), the Global Movement for Children of Latin America and the Caribbean and in coordination with Brazil, the Host Country for the XXI Pan-American Congress.

The Forum aims to open a space for dialogue and reflection among civil society actors on the violence against children and adolescents within the context of the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is also an opportunity for civil society organizations, including those formed by children and adolescents, to exchange ideas and develop proposals and recommendations on the subject, which would then be submitted to the Member State Delegations at the XXI Pan-American Congress.

A delegation of children and adolescents who are active in networks of organizations working for children’s rights are expected to participate in the Forum in San Salvador. One of the expected outcomes of the Forum is a document called «Recommendations of the Civil Society to the XXI Pan-American Child and Adolescent Congress.»

The XXI Pan-American Child and Adolescent Congress will be held from 10 to 12 December in Brasilia, Brazil, and include participation of high-level officials in the field of childhood and adolescence. The Congress aims to promote experience and knowledge sharing between the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), in addition to making recommendations that will foster children’s well-being in the Americas.

Eliminating violence against children is a task for all. States have the primary responsibility for implementing policies and programs to address violence against children and adolescents in all its forms. Civil society organizations and children and adolescents have an important monitoring role to ensure implementation and guaranteeing the right to protection of children and adolescents.