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First visit by UN expert on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography to Mauritius

GENEVA (29 April 2011) – A UN expert on Monday begins a ten-day visit to study issues relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in Mauritius. Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid will be the first UN special rapporteur to visit the country.

“During my mission, I will gather first-hand information on the main issues related to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as on the child protection system in general,” said the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The visit is scheduled to take place from 2 to 11 May 2011.

“The Government is undertaking the process of ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the visit thus comes at an opportune time, affirmed the expert.”

“I will explore legislation, policies and programs to address and prevent these issues, as well as examine international cooperation in the area.” The Special Rapporteur will visit Port Louis and Rodrigues, and will hold meetings with representatives of the Government, the judiciary, the Ombudsperson for Children and other key stakeholders. She will also meet with UN representatives, non-governmental organizations, members of the media, and visit shelters and centres that provide assistance to child victims of exploitation and abuse.

A press conference will be held at 14.30 on Wednesday 11 May at the St Georges Hotel (19 St Georges Street Port Louis, Mauritius). A final report on the visit will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in 2012.

ENDS

Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid ( Morocco) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the sale of children in May 2008. She is independent from any government or organization. Ms. Maalla M’jid is a member of the Commission on the Rights of the Child of the Moroccan Consultative Council on Human Rights, and honorary president of the non-governmental organization BAYTI, the first programme addressing the situation of children living in the street in Morocco.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/children/rapporteur/index.htm or write to srsaleofchildren@ohchr.org.

For more information on the situation of human rights in Mauritius, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MUIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact Ms. Dima Yared at +41-79-444-3993