Ms Marta Santos Pais was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on May 1st, 2009, and took up her position on September 1st, 2009. She brings to this position more than 30 years experience on human rights issues, engagement in United Nations and intergovernmental processes and a firm commitment to the rights of the child.
Before her appointment, Ms Santos Pais was the Director of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, a position she held since 2001. She joined UNICEF in 1997 as Director of Evaluation, Policy and Planning. Previously, she was the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and Vice-Chair of the Coordinating Committee on Childhood Policies of the Council of Europe. She was a Special Adviser to the UN Study on Violence against Children and to the Machel Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. She was a member of the UN Drafting Group of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and of its two Optional Protocols. She also participated in the development of other key international human rights standards.
Ms Santos Pais is a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Children’s Rights, and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Inter-disciplinary Course on Children’s Rights. She is the author of a large number of publications on human rights and children’s rights.