A UN human rights expert has called for concrete steps to stop the sale and sexual exploitation of children, and adopt a practical approach to effectively implement policies and laws designed to prevent the crimes and protect and rehabilitate victims.
"The limited application of legislative and policy initiatives represents perhaps the most significant challenge to addressing these crimes,” the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, Mama Fatima Singhateh, said in a report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
To help States and other stakeholders in moving towards more effective implementation, Singhateh’s report provides concrete measures and good practices, to tackle the sale of children for the purpose of child marriage, and the sexual exploitation of children in prostitution, in the context of travel and tourism and online. There is also a checklist on the Special Rapporteur’s web page, which can be developed further to provide guidance at the national level to ensure that all children can live free from sale and sexual exploitation.
“The examples provided in my report are not exhaustive but serve to illustrate the importance of concrete actions and encourage States to consider, inspire and support each other to better implement existing legal and policy principles for the protection of children from sale and sexual exploitation,” the expert said.
“It is crucial to continue investing in building awareness and sensitizing societies to prevent this scourge, and strong community-level engagement that will generate sustainable change.
“Seemingly small but concrete steps make a real difference in children’s lives. Today more than ever, we need practical, decisive action to prevent different forms of sale and sexual exploitation of children, protect children and provide adequate services to child victims and survivors.”