The 51st session of the Commission on the Status of Women considered the  Agreed conclusions on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child

 

AGREED CONCLUSIONS CSW51

 

THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST THE GIRL CHILD  

1. The following agreed conclusions adopted by the Commission are brought to the attention of the Council for transmittal for information to the review session to take place in 2007 on the outcome document entitled “A world fit for children”, adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session.

 

Elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child*

1. The Commission on the Status of Women reaffirms the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and the declaration adopted by the Commission on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

2. The Commission also reaffirms the outcome of the 2002 World Summit on Children and the international commitments to gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child made at the World Conference on Human Rights, the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development and the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, as well as those made in the United Nations Millennium Declaration and at the 2005 World Summit, and reaffirms further that their full and effective and accelerated implementation are integral to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

3. The Commission reiterates that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, as well as other conventions and treaties, provide a legal framework and a comprehensive set of measures for the promotion and protection of the human rights of the girl child, including for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against her. In this regard, the Commission welcomes the adoption in December 2006 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

4. The Commission reaffirms the commitment to the full and effective implementation of, and follow-up to, all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies on the girl child, its previous set of agreed conclusions on the girl child, as well as Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1612.

5. The Commission welcomes the June 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, which expressed grave concern for the overall expansion and feminization of the HIV pandemic and recognized that gender inequalities and all forms of violence against women and girls increased their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

6. The Commission reaffirms the commitment to ensure the full implementation of the human rights of women and of the girl child as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

7. The Commission is profoundly concerned that previous goals and targets and commitments, including financial commitments, made with regard to the girl child remain unfulfilled and that, despite progress in addressing all forms of discrimination and violence against girls and recognition of their rights, discrimination and violations of their human rights still persist.

8. The Commission recognizes that the empowerment of girls is key to breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and to promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of all their human rights. It also recognizes that empowering girls requires the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families, boys and men, as well as the wider community.

9. The Commission also recognizes that the difficult socio-economic conditions that exist in many developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, have resulted in the acceleration of the feminization of poverty and that in situations of poverty girl children are among those most affected. In this regard, the Commission stresses that achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and all other agreed development goals is a global effort and an essential element in improving the situation of girl children and ensuring their human rights. The Commission further recognizes that, as part of urgent national and international action required to eradicate poverty, investing in the development of girls is a priority in and of itself and has a multiplier effect, in particular on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth.

10. The Commission expresses concern that the girl child does not receive sufficiently explicit attention in policy and programme development and resource allocation. It is also concerned that the lack of resources and data disaggregated by sex, age and other relevant factors addressing the specific situation of vulnerable girls remains a serious constraint in formulating and implementing effective, targeted policies and programmes and monitoring progress in eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence.

11. The Commission notes with appreciation the United Nations study on violence against children and the Secretary-General’s in-depth study on violence against women and takes into account their recommendations.

12. The Commission recognizes that prevailing negative sociocultural attitudes and gender stereotypes contribute to the de facto and de jure discrimination against the girl child and violations of the rights of the girl child.

13. The Commission urges Governments to take the following actions:

Norms and policies

(a) Consider ratifying or acceding to, as a particular matter of priority, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and their respective Optional Protocols, limit the extent of any reservations that they lodge and regularly review such reservations with a view to withdrawing them so as to ensure that no reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of the relevant treaty; and implement them fully by, inter alia, putting in place effective national legislation, policies and action plans;

(b) Consider ratifying or acceding to, as a matter of priority, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto, in particular the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;

(c) Consider becoming a State Party to, as a matter of priority, and thereafter ensure the full implementation of International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 138 and 182 on, respectively, the minimum age for employment, and eliminating the worst forms of child labour, and establish appropriate penalties and sanctions to ensure effective enforcement;

(d) Intensify efforts to fully implement the Beijing Platform for Action, the outcome documents of the five-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action, the World Summit for Children and the Millennium Development Goals;

(e) Exercise leadership to end all forms of violence against girls and support advocacy in this regard at all levels, including at the local, national, regional and international levels, and by all sectors, especially by political, community and religious leaders, as well as the public and private sectors, the media and civil society;

(f) Review and, where appropriate, revise, amend or abolish all laws, regulations, policies, practices and customs that discriminate against women or the girl child or have a discriminatory impact on women or the girl child, and ensure that provisions of multiple legal systems, where they exist, comply with international human rights obligations, commitments and principles, including the principle of non-discrimination;

(g) Condemn all forms of discrimination and violence against girls and enact and/or strengthen legislation on preventing and eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against girls, develop policies that ensure its full and effective implementation, and put in place adequate national and local mechanisms to monitor compliance with these laws and policies, with the active participation of civil society, where appropriate;

(h) Develop policies and programmes to sensitize magistrates, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and persons who work with victims, in order to ensure that judicial proceedings are adequate to the needs and the development of the girl child and that a gender perspective is applied to such proceedings;

(i) Exercise due diligence to prevent all forms of violence against girls, and investigate and punish the perpetrators of such violence and provide protection to the victims;

(j) Create, where not currently in place, and maintain birth, death and marriage data registries with full national coverage;

(k) Review, enact and strictly enforce laws and regulations concerning the minimum legal age of consent and the minimum age for marriage, raising the minimum age for marriage where necessary, and generate social support for the enforcement of these laws, inter alia, through increasing educational opportunities for girls and advocating the benefits of keeping girls in schools;

(l) Give explicit attention to the girl child in budget processes at all levels, including resource allocation and expenditure reviews, to ensure the mobilization of sufficient resources for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against girls.

14. The Commission, taking into account the primary responsibility of Governments in the fight against all forms of discrimination, exploitation and violence against the girl child, urges Governments and/or the relevant funds and programmes, organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates, and invites the international financial institutions and all relevant actors of civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to:

14.1. Poverty

(a) Reduce social and economic inequalities, giving priority to approaches that focus on poverty eradication and improving linkages, participation and social networks within and between different community groups, thereby addressing economic, social and cultural rights and reducing the vulnerability of the girl child to discrimination and violence;

(b) Integrate a gender perspective, giving explicit attention to the girl child, in national development strategies, plans and policies, and provide support to developing countries in the implementation of these development strategies, policies and plans;

(c) Improve the situation of girl children living in poverty, deprived of nutrition, water and sanitation facilities, with no access to basic health-care services, shelter, education, participation and protection, taking into account that while a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human being, it is most threatening and harmful to the girl child, leaving her unable to enjoy her rights, to reach her full potential and to participate as a full member of society;

(d) Assess the impact of globalization, economic policies and the constraints of the international trade system on the girl child and mainstream a gender perspective, giving explicit attention to the girl child, into all development policies and programmes and poverty eradication strategies, where appropriate;

14.2. Education and training

(a) Intensify their efforts to meet the target of eliminating gender inequalities in primary and secondary education by the earliest possible date and at all educational levels by 2015, including through the provision of Education for All partnerships;

(b) Collect data disaggregated by sex and age on dropout rates at all levels of education, and conduct research on the causes, including root causes of the discontinuation of education by girls;

(c) Ensure that all children, particularly girls, without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or disability, have equal access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality, and renew their efforts to improve and expand girls’ education at all levels, including the secondary and higher levels, in all academic areas, as well as vocational education and technical training, in order to, inter alia, encourage women to enter the labour market and as a way of achieving gender equality, the empowerment of women and poverty eradication, and to allow women’s full and equal contribution to, and equal opportunity to benefit from, development;

(d) Recognize the critical role of both formal and non-formal education in the achievement of poverty eradication and other development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and ensure access of women and girls to non-formal education, particularly for those who are dropouts and living in poverty, with the aim to equip them with the necessary knowledge and prepare them to participate equally in decision-making in all spheres of life and at all levels;

(e) Identify constraints and gaps and develop appropriate strategies, in collaboration with parents and legal guardians, teachers and community leaders, to ensure gender equality, accelerated achievement of equality in enrolment and completion of schooling at the early childhood, primary and all other educational levels for all girls, including pregnant adolescents and young mothers, especially in neglected and marginalized areas and communities and rural and remote areas, and introduce, where appropriate, temporary special measures, including financial incentives and stipends and nutrition programmes in order to improve enrolment and retention rates for girls at all educational levels;

(f) Promote gender-sensitive, empowering educational and training processes and teaching materials by, inter alia, reviewing and revising, as appropriate, school curricula, formal and non-formal educational and training materials and teacher-training programmes, including for those dealing with career orientation, and encourage and support girls’ and boys’ interest and involvement in non-traditional fields and occupations;

(g) Ensure safe and supportive school environments for girls and girl-friendly school premises by implementing measures to eliminate discrimination and violence against girls and specific measures against sexual harassment at school, achieving gender balance at all levels in the education sector, providing appropriate sanitation and recreational facilities, boarding facilities, and school transport, where appropriate, and securing safe routes to and from school;

(h) Develop well-resourced educational and livelihood skills programmes to reach girls who are not enrolled in formal education programmes owing to specific life circumstances, inter alia, extreme poverty, child labour, abuse or exploitation, trafficking, prostitution, armed conflict and displacement, migration, early and forced marriage, pregnancy, motherhood and disability;

(i) Ensure girls’ access to training that enables them to develop their skills, capacities and expertise to exercise leadership, including tools, training and special programmes necessary to become actors in public life, including at the highest levels, addressing existing power differentials in society and the need for different positive models of leadership;

(j) Ensure that young women and men have access to information and education, including peer education, youth-specific HIV education and sexual education and services necessary for behavioural change, to develop the life skills required to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection and reproductive ill health, in full partnership with young persons, parents, families, educators and health-care providers;

(k) Ensure that the rights of the girl child are fully integrated into all peace and non-violence education, including on peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, which should be provided from the primary level on as a means of instructing girls and boys in the prevention, resolution and management of conflicts at the interpersonal, community, national and international levels;

(l) Increase girls’ ability to attend school and extra-curricular activities by investing in public infrastructure projects and quality public services, such as transport, water, sanitation and sustainable energy, in order to reduce the amount of time girls spend on everyday routine household maintenance tasks, while also working to change attitudes that reinforce the division of labour based on gender, in order to promote shared family responsibility for work in the home and reduce the domestic work burden for girls;

(m) Promote and support increased access of girls to information and communications technology (ICT), particularly girls living in poverty, girls living in rural and remote areas and in disadvantaged situations, and enhance international support to overcome the digital divide among countries and regions, between men and women and boys and girls, as well as between different social groups of women and girls;

(n) Create literate environments and societies, eradicating illiteracy among women and girls and eliminating the gender gap in literacy, inter alia, by intensifying efforts to implement effectively the International Plan of Action for the United Nations Literacy Decade and integrating substantially those efforts in the Education for All process and other activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as other literacy initiatives within the framework of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals;

(o) Allocate sufficient resources and provide technical assistance upon request to developing countries in order to strengthen the capacity to provide equal access to education and to monitor progress in closing the gap between girls and boys in education, training and research, and in levels of achievement in all fields, particularly basic education and literacy programmes;

14.3. Gender stereotypes

(a) Recognize that eliminating stereotypes calls for a deep societal change that needs to be supported through the development of strategies to eliminate gender stereotypes in all spheres of life, and foster the positive portrayal of women and girls at all levels, including as leaders and decision makers, including through developing and implementing appropriate legislation, policies and programmes, as well as awareness campaigns, to address stereotypical attitudes and behaviours that contribute to discrimination and violence against girls;

(b) Target and work with men and boys, as well as women and girls and other actors, such as parents, teachers, religious and traditional leaders and educational and media institutions, to address stereotypical attitudes and behaviours, and encourage decision makers at all levels with responsibilities for policies, legislation, programmes and allocation of public resources to play leadership roles in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against girls and in the promotion of girls empowerment;

(c) Ensure that men and women, and boys and girls are educated on girls’ rights and their responsibility to respect the rights of others, inter alia, by integrating girls’ rights into appropriate curricula at all levels, including in schools and the vocational training of health workers, teachers, law enforcement personnel, military personnel, social workers, the judiciary, community leaders, the media and others and encourage men and boys to speak out strongly against all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls and not to protect perpetrators or condone their violence;

(d) Promote non-discriminatory treatment of girls and boys in the family and, in this regard, adopt measures to ensure equal access by girls and boys to food, education and health, and develop programmes and policies addressed to family members, especially parents and other legal guardians, to protect and promote the health and well-being of girls, as well as to ensure that the value of girls to their families and societies is recognized, including with a view to eliminating son preference;

(e) Encourage cooperation and dialogue between Governments and all relevant actors so that media contents, including the portrayal of gender stereotypes, prejudices and violence, are reviewed, consistent with freedom of expression, and that the quality of programmes broadcast can be improved;

(f) Encourage the active participation of boys, from an early age, in the elimination of discrimination and violence against girls, including through the promotion of gender-sensitive socialization processes, targeted programmes and creation of spaces and environments where boys and girls can be guided in challenging gender stereotypes and negative attitudes towards girls;

14.4. Health

(a) Take all necessary measures to ensure the rights of girls to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and develop sustainable health systems and social services, ensuring access to such systems and services without discrimination, paying special attention to adequate food and nutrition and the effects of communicable diseases and to the special needs of adolescents, including raising awareness about eating disorders, and to sexual and reproductive health, and securing appropriate prenatal and post-natal care, including measures to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV;

(b) Ensure the availability of and access to comprehensive age-appropriate information, education and confidential counselling for girls and boys, including in school curricula, on human relationships, and sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and the prevention of early pregnancy, that emphasize the equal rights and responsibility of girls and boys;

(c) Develop, implement and support national and international prevention, care and treatment strategies, as appropriate, to effectively address the condition of obstetric fistula and to further develop a multisectoral, multidisciplinary, comprehensive and integrated approach in order to bring about lasting solutions and put an end to obstetric fistula, maternal mortality and related morbidities, including through ensuring access to affordable, comprehensive, quality maternal health-care services, including skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care;

(d) Develop and implement national legislation and policies prohibiting harmful customary or traditional practices, particularly female genital mutilation, that are violations of and obstacles to the full enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and prosecute the perpetrators of such practices that are harmful to the health of women and girls;

14.5. HIV/AIDS

(a) Ensure that in all policies and programmes designed to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, particular attention and support is given to the girl child at risk, infected with, and affected by HIV/AIDS, including pregnant girls and young and adolescent mothers, as part of the global effort to scale up significantly towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010;

(b) Provide appropriate information to help young women, including adolescent girls, understand their sexuality, including their sexual and reproductive health, in order to increase their ability to protect themselves from HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy;

(c) Educate men and boys to accept their role and responsibility in the spreading of HIV/AIDS and in matters related to sexuality, reproduction and child-rearing and to promote equality between women and men, girls and boys;

(d) Address the underlying and root causes of the feminization of HIV/AIDS, and take appropriate measures to provide a supportive and socially inclusive environment for girls infected with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS, including by providing appropriate counselling and psychosocial support, ensuring their enrolment in school and equal access to shelter, nutrition, health and social services and taking effective measures to eliminate stigmatization, discrimination, violence, exploitation and abuse on the basis of HIV or AIDS status;

(e) Identify and address the needs of girls heading households, including in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, for, inter alia, protection, access to financial resources, access to health care and support services, including affordable HIV/AIDS treatment, and for opportunities to continue their education, with particular attention to orphans and vulnerable children, and increase men’s responsibility for home-based care in order to address the disproportionate burden borne by women and girls in caring for the chronically ill;

(f) Increase global efforts to overcome any legal, regulatory, trade and other barriers that block access to prevention, treatment, care and support, and allocate adequate resources;

(g) Promote initiatives aimed at reducing the prices of antiretroviral drugs, especially second-line drugs, available to the girl child, including bilateral and private sector initiatives, as well as initiatives on a voluntary basis by groups of States, based on innovative financing mechanisms that contribute to the mobilization of resources for social development, including those that aim to provide further access to drugs at affordable prices to developing countries on a sustainable and predictable basis, and in this regard, take note of the International Drug Purchase Facility;

14.6. Child labour

(a) Ensure that the applicable ILO requirements for the employment of girls and boys are respected and effectively enforced, and ensure also that girls who are employed have equal access to decent work, equal payment and remuneration and are protected from economic exploitation, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence and abuse in the workplace, are aware of their rights, and have access to formal and non-formal education, skills development, and vocational training, and develop gender-sensitive measures, including national action plans where appropriate, to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation, slave-like practices, forced and bonded labour, trafficking, and hazardous forms of child labour;

(b) Raise government and public awareness as to the nature and scope of the special needs of girls, including migrant girls, employed as domestic workers and of those performing excessive domestic chores in their own households, and develop measures to prevent their labour and economic exploitation and sexual abuse, and ensure that they have access to education and vocational training, health services, food, shelter and recreation;

14.7. Armed conflict

(a) Take special measures for the protection of girls affected by armed conflict and by post-conflict situations and, in particular, protect them from sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, including rape and sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation, torture, abduction and forced labour, paying special attention to refugee and displaced girls; and take into account the special needs of girls affected by unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations and by armed conflicts in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation assistance and reintegration processes, and that girls living under foreign occupation must also be protected in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law;

(b) Incorporate a gender perspective, including special attention to the girl child, in the mandates, operational guidelines and training programmes of peacekeeping forces, police, humanitarian workers and associated civilian personnel in armed conflict and post-conflict situations;

(c) Take appropriate measures to ensure that the specific needs of girls are addressed in all aspects of preventing the recruitment of children in armed groups and armed forces, and to facilitate their release and reintegration and secure the effective access of girls to dedicated programmes and services that respond to their specific needs for protection and assistance, and develop strategies to prevent future stigmatization and discrimination in their community and family and, in this regard, elaborate and implement applicable operational policies and frameworks based on good practices and lessons learned;

(d) Ensure that sufficient attention is given to the girl child in all frameworks and action plans addressing violations and abuses against children in armed conflict;

14.8. Humanitarian assistance to girls

Take measures to ensure that the specific needs of girls affected by armed conflict and natural disasters are taken into account in the delivery of humanitarian assistance and finding durable solutions, including in refugee camps and camps for the internally displaced and in reconstruction efforts, and ensure that such assistance is provided in full compliance with international law, and in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/182 in the context of United Nations humanitarian assistance;

14.9. Violence and discrimination

(a) Condemn all forms of violence against girls and take effective legislative and other measures to prevent and eliminate all such violence, including physical, mental, psychological and sexual violence, torture, child abuse and exploitation, hostage-taking, domestic violence, trafficking in or sale of children and their organs, paedophilia, child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism, gang-related violence and harmful traditional practices in all settings;

(b) Take all appropriate measures to strengthen legal frameworks, including the review and amendment of existing legislation, the enactment of new laws where necessary, developing adequate programmes and formulating appropriate policies to prevent, prosecute and punish all cases of violence against girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life, and in particular physical, sexual, and psychological violence, wherever it occurs, within or outside the family;

(c) Provide age-appropriate and gender-sensitive services to girls subjected to all forms of gender-based violence, including comprehensive programmes for their physical, psychological and social recovery, such as health, counselling and legal services, helplines and shelters, and ensure adequate human, material and financial resources for these services;

(d) Condemn violence against women and girls and refrain from invoking any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination, and hold up to public scrutiny and eliminate those attitudes that foster, justify, or tolerate violence;

(e) Strengthen advocacy and rights-based awareness-raising programmes directed at eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination against girls by engaging girls and boys, parents and families, local community, political, religious and traditional leaders and educational institutions, and provide adequate financial support to efforts at both national and local levels to change behaviour, stereotyped attitudes and harmful practices;

(f) Create and support, as appropriate, community-based networks to advocate against all forms of violence against girls, develop programmes to sensitize and train health workers and other professionals working with and for the girl child to the issue, including on the early detection of violence, and integrate comprehensive measures and incentives that promote the full enjoyment of human rights and equality by the girl child into national development strategies;

(g) Encourage and support men and boys to take an active part in the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence, and encourage increased understanding among men and boys of how violence harms girls, boys, women and men and undermines gender equality;

(h) Eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child and the root causes of son preference, which results in harmful and unethical practices regarding female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, which may have significant repercussions on society as a whole;

(i) Review, strengthen or adopt legislation or policies to eradicate child pornography, including child pornography transmitted through the media and ICTs, and related forms of exploitation of children, and strengthen efforts to combat the existence of a market that encourages child pornography, including the prosecution of those who sexually exploit or abuse children;

(j) Develop and strengthen partnerships involving Governments, civil society, the media and business sectors and other relevant actors in the elimination of child pornography, including child pornography transmitted through the media and ICTs, in the protection of the girl child from related abuses and exploitation, and in training, inter alia, law enforcers, prosecutors, judges and social workers, as appropriate, in order to build effective capacities to eradicate child pornography;

(k) Ensure that follow-up to and implementation of relevant resolutions and, where appropriate, the relevant recommendations contained in the United Nations study on violence against children and the in-depth study on all forms of violence against women include explicit attention to girls at all levels;

(l) Increase education and training among teachers and health service providers in identifying acts of violence against the girl child, and ensure that they also take action to eradicate all forms of violence against the girl child, including customary and traditional practices that are harmful to the health of the girl child;

(m) Take measures to protect girls in juvenile detention facilities from all forms of physical, psychological or sexual violence and abuse and ensure that the detention or incarceration of girls shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

14.10. Trafficking

(a) Take appropriate measures to ensure that all efforts aimed at combating trafficking in persons are gender- and child-sensitive, including in actions to address the factors that increase vulnerability to being trafficked, such as poverty and gender inequality, and to eliminate the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of women and girls that leads to trafficking, and where girls are identified in situations of exploitation take all appropriate measures to remove them from harm and protect them without delay;

(b) Strengthen and improve international cooperation and coordination, including regional efforts in the fight against trafficking in persons, especially women and girls, in order to prevent trafficking; protect, assist, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims; and prosecute and punish offenders in accordance with due process of law on the basis of the principles of shared responsibility, respect for human rights and the active cooperation of countries of origin, transit and destination and other relevant actors thereto;

14.11. Girls in high-risk situations

Actively support girls vulnerable to all forms of discrimination and violence, including through the allocation of appropriate financial resources and targeted, innovative programmes that address the needs and priorities of girls in high-risk situations who have difficulties accessing services and programmes;

14.12. Migration

(a) Build awareness of the risks encountered by girls in the context of migration, particularly in the context of irregular migration, such as sexual and labour exploitation, migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, and develop gender-sensitive migration policies and training programmes for law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and service providers that ensure the delivery of proper and professional interventions for girl migrants who are subjected to abuse and violence;

(b) Effectively promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of girl migrants, regardless of their immigration status, and facilitate family reunification in an expeditious and effective manner, with due regard for applicable laws;

14.13. Empowering girls

(a) Promote people-centred sustainable development, including sustained economic growth, through the provision of basic education, lifelong education, literacy and training, and health care for all girls and women, and assist girls to secure economic independence, particularly girls heading households;

(b) Facilitate girls’ empowerment, including through developing and adequately funding safe and supportive spaces, promoting mentoring and networking among women leaders and girls at all levels, peer education programmes, life skills programmes, and other gender-sensitive youth-friendly services, and provide enhanced opportunities for girls, particularly adolescent girls, to meet and interact with their peers and develop leadership capacities and networking opportunities;

(c) Invest in awareness campaigns, and provide education and training, including specialized training on violence, gender issues, discrimination and human rights, to parents and legal guardians, families, political, religious, traditional and community leaders, and all professions relevant to the protection and empowerment of girls, including educators, social workers, police officers, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and the media, to increase awareness and commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of girls and appropriate responses to rights violations;

14.14. Participation of girls

(a) Respect and promote the right of girls to express themselves freely and to take the views of girls into account in all matters affecting them, including by taking all necessary actions to empower girls to exercise this right, according to their evolving capacity, and to build self-esteem and acquire knowledge and skills and provide them with adequate information on health, social and education services, programmes and initiatives to facilitate their participation in all sectors, including civil society;

(b) Involve girls, including girls with special needs, and their representative organizations, in decision-making processes, as appropriate, and include them as full and active partners in identifying their own needs and in developing, planning, implementing and assessing policies and programmes to meet these needs;

14.15. Gender mainstreaming

Mainstream a gender perspective, including special attention to the girl child, into all legislation, policies and programmes, and strengthen national monitoring and evaluation, inter alia, by utilizing gender budgeting and gender impact assessment, and compile and disseminate lessons learned and good practices;

14.16. Data collection

(a) Encourage and strengthen national research, monitoring and evaluation of the progress in eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child, in particular in areas where there is a dearth of information, including, as appropriate, through the development of reliable standardized methodology for the systematic collection, analysis and use in policy formulation of gender-specific data and statistics, disaggregated by sex, age and other relevant factors addressing the specific situation of vulnerable girls, and disseminate lessons learned and good practices;

(b) Conduct regular surveys of the situation and needs of girls at national and local levels to identify groups at high risk of discrimination and violence, ensuring that all data are disaggregated by age, education, marital status, geographical location, income and other relevant factors;

(c) Collect data disaggregated by age, sex and other relevant factors addressing the specific situation of vulnerable girls and systematically report on internationally agreed indicators related to the girl child as contained in the Millennium Development Goals, and support the development of additional indicators in consultation with the Statistical Commission, as appropriate, to more systematically and effectively measure national progress in eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.

Treaty bodies

15. The Commission encourages the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, as well as the other human rights treaty bodies, to invite States parties to ensure that their reports explicitly address the situation of the girl child.

Implementation of commitments

16. The Commission calls on all States and the international community, including the United Nations system, and invites international and non-governmental organizations and the private sector to mobilize and allocate all necessary resources, support and efforts, including at the international level, to realize the goals, strategic objectives and actions set out in the Beijing Platform for Action with regard to the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child and the further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as other relevant commitments.

17. The Commission reaffirms the commitment to adequate financial resources at the international level for the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Cairo Plan of Action and the Beijing+5 outcome document in developing countries, especially through the strengthening of their national capacities.

Support to the United Nations system

18. The Commission calls upon all organizations of the United Nations system, within their organizational mandates, to mainstream a gender perspective and to pursue gender equality in their country programmes, planning instruments and sector-wide programmes, and to articulate specific country-level goals and targets in this field, in accordance with national development strategies.

19. The Commission calls on all States, and invites multilateral, financial and development institutions to support the entities of the United Nations system, especially its funds and programmes, to increase their efforts, including through, as appropriate, the United Nations country teams, to strengthen their country-level advocacy and their technical capacities to address all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.