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

GENEVA (10 July 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Najat Maalla M’jid will undertake a fact-finding mission to Madagascar from 15 to 26 July 2013. This will be the first visit to the country 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 vulnerable children and child victims.”

The Special Rapporteur, who visits Madagascar at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Antananarivo, Tulear, Nosy Be and Tamatave to meet with State authorities responsible for preventing and combating the sale and sexual exploitation of children. She will also meet with representatives from the United Nations, the diplomatic community, civil society and private sector representatives, and visit children care centres and shelters.

The Special Rapporteur will share with the Government her preliminary observations based on her findings during the visit. The Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in March 2014.

A press conference will be held at the end of the mission on Friday 26 July at 14:00 within the premises of the United Nations in Antananarivo, Room Titan II.

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 – Madagascar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MGIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact Bernadette Arditi (+41 79 444 4332 / barditi@ohchr.org) or the Human Rights Advisor in Antananarivo, Oumar Kane (+261 20 23 300 92 /okane@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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