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Sale and sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert in fact-finding mission to France

GENEVA (17 November 2011) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Najat Maalla M’jid will undertake a fact-finding mission to France from 21 November to 2 December 2011. This will be the second visit to the country since 2002 by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

“In all countries in the world there are children victims or vulnerable to various forms of exploitation, and such children need special consideration,” said Ms. Maalla M’jid. “During my mission, I will focus on the scope, the patterns and the root causes of the phenomena of sale and sexual exploitation of children; I will pay particular attention to the strategies and programs established in terms of prevention and protection of children victims or vulnerable.”

The Special Rapporteur, who visits France at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux to meet with State authorities responsible for preventing and combating the sale and sexual exploitation of children. She will also meet with civil society and private sector representatives, and visit children care centres and shelters.

The Special Rapporteur will share with the Government her preliminary observations on the promotion and protection of human rights of child victims or vulnerable to sale or sexual exploitation based on the information gathered during the visit. The Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

A press conference will be held at the end of the mission on Friday 2 December at 12:00 at 35, rue Saint Dominique 75007 Paris, salle Renée Cassin.

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 paediatrician and member of the Commission on the Rights of the Child of the Moroccan National Consultative Council on Human Rights, and the founder 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://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Children/Pages/ChildrenIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – France: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/FRIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact Bernadette Arditi (+41 79 201 0122 / barditi@ohchr.org) or write to SRsaleofchildren@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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