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Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Speech by Minister Åsa Regnér at global high-level conference Towards Childhoods free from Corporal Punishment in Vienna

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Speech by Minister for Children, The Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér.

Vienna, 1 June.

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Mr. President, Her Majesty, Ministers, Ambassadors, Special Representative of The United Nations Secretary-General On Violence Against Children, Distinguished experts, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you all for attending this global high-level conference - Towards Childhoods free from Corporal Punishment.

Let me congratulate our hosts, the Austrian government, for very fine arrangements and a much inspiring conference here in beautiful Vienna.

I am very proud that Sweden is a part of this truly global process, where leaders of the world join together in committing to end corporal punishment of children.

Today, 49 states have prohibited all corporal punishment of children, including in the family home. And, at least 54 more states have expressed a commitment to full prohibition. Still there is a long way to go. According to The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, only 10% of the world's children are fully protected in law from all corporal punishment.

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Almost 40 years ago, the Swedish world famous author Astrid Lindgren asked how we, as human beings and as a society, could learn to distance ourselves against using violence. I think that we all can agree upon that this remains a much urgent question. Her own answer was that it has to start with the children, as the children of today will eventually take the running of our world.

Astrid Lindgren thought that what decides if a child was going to become a warm, open and trusting person or a callous and desctructive one, was up to those who bring the child into the world. Astrid Lindgren corresponded to Goethe' belief that: "Uberall lernt man nur von dem den man liebt."

Today, her thoughts on these issues to a large extent have been verified by research, demonstrating that adults who hit their children in the name of discipline usually began doing so because they themselves were hit as children.

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According to article 19 of the Convention on the rights of the child, the child has the right to be protected from all forms of violence. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a powerful document. But it only has the power we, as leaders and representatives, give to it. That's the core reason for my government's work of making the convention Swedish law.

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We have to acknowledge that not all children grow up in an environment free from violence. Sweden has long supported the The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Ms Marta Santos Pais. Let me express our appreciation of her work and her initiative ­ The High Time to End Violence against Children.

Considering the many challenges ahead of us and the need for global action, the Swedish government welcomes that the elimination of violence and exploitation of children are explicit goals in the Agenda 2030.

We are very positive of the establishment of a Global Partnership to end violence against children in order to support the implementation of these goals. It is our hope and belief that this Global partnership can bring together governments, civil society and the private sector to promote and protect the rights' of the child all over the world. Sweden has expressed interest in participating in the partnership as a pathfinder country.

As such, we will share good practices and experiences with others. As many of you know, Sweden was the first country in the world to prohibit all corporal punishment of children. This legislation, combined with sustained public education and awareness-raising of the law and of children's right to protection, together with promotion of positive, non-violent relationships with children, has proved to be effective. Hopefully, others can learn from our experiences.

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At the same time, we need to learn as well. Being minister not only for children but for the Elderly and Gender Equality as well, I would especially like to draw attention to the relation between gender equality, violence against women and violence against children. This is something that I think we need to increase our knowledge about in order to successfully take measure against violence against children.

A Norwegian study on gender equality among Norwegian parents found that gender-equal childhood homes were characterised by a lower level of violence. In fact, the risk of violence in "father-led" homes was almost three times greater than in gender-equal homes.

As minister for children, gender equality and the elderly, I very agree with the conclusion of the Norwegian study, that what is "best for the children" cannot be isolated from issues of gender equality and democracy among adults."

The Swedish government currently works on a national strategy for a national strategy against men's violence against women. No doubt, this work will be beneficial for children as well.

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Let me conclude by once again express my gratitude to our host, the Austrian government and the distinguished experts who have participated at this conference. I think that these days illustrate that if we work together to strengthen children's rights, protect children from all kinds of violence, supporting parents and building sustainable and equal societies, the results can be truly amazing.

Thank you.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.