Urgent action urged to stop sexual exploitation of children

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Millions of girls and boys worldwide are victims of sexual exploitation. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi (file)

Governments around the world have been urged by a UN independent expert on children to urgently take action to stop sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation of children.

The Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography presented her report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said that her report to the Council coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sexual exploitation of children in 1990.

She said that 25 years after its creation, the mandate appears to be as relevant as ever.

Ms de Boer-Buquicchio pointed out that persisting and new forms of sale and sexual exploitation of children continue in all regions of the world.

"Millions of children are subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation, being sold and trafficked to be prostituted, subjected to forced labour, illegal adoption or for the transfer of organs. Child abuse material continues to be produced, distributed, offered, sold and consumed online and offline. There is an urgent need for all stakeholders, especially Member States, to pass to action to put an end to these endemic crimes." (27")

The UN independent expert called on States to pass adequate national legislation to ratify an international treaty on the rights of the child.

She said the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography provides a minimum standard of protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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