Statement made at a High-Level Round Table on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child on 26 February 2007.
Madam Chair, fellow delegates,
Norway holds the opinion that women’s empowerment starts with the girls; although they are often invisible in the broad picture. The CEDAW and the CRC constitute the very framework for our policies and laws. Both are fully incorporated in Norwegian Law, as you may recall.
Norway welcomes the report of the UN Secretary General on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child, and the Pinheiro Report (to the UN) on violence against children, that was launched last year. We are very pleased to see how well the gender perspective is integrated into this report.
However, we would like to see a more integrated approach in the following up of the implementation of CEDAW and CRC: To secure girls’ human rights is to secure women’s human rights. We should urge the direct collaboration between the 2 committees.
We need more documentation and reliable research. There is still a lack of data disaggregated by sex and age, as was mentioned this morning and by yourself, Madam Chair.
We also need to disseminate knowledge about the consequences of growing up exposed to domestic violence. One large project in Norway, is a six-year national project Children who live with violence in the family, was launched in 2004 with the aim of disseminating research-based knowledge at national, regional and local level. We must not sit on relevant knowledge! Treatment methods for the victims of violence need to be developed and specially tailored to the differing needs of girls and boys. We will be happy to share experiences with you after some time.
I would like to address the need to combat harmful traditional practices, which are a serious form of discrimination and violence against girls and women. The right of girls and women to control their own body and sexuality is a universal right, which can not be limited or excused by culture or religion.
The Norwegian Government is currently revising and strengthening the national action plans against forced marriages and female genital mutilation. Both practices have long been forbidden by law, and last year, in a ground-breaking judgement, a Norwegian court convicted a father and brother of forcing a young woman into marriage, and sentenced them to imprisonment.
Finally, Norway would certainly support a joint general recommendation on the girl child from the two treaty bodies, handling the CEDAW and the CRC.
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