6 November 2007
The Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Juan Miguel Petit, issued the following statement on 6 November 2007:
“I am concerned by the recent incidents in Abeché, eastern Chad leading to the arrest on 25 October 2007 of some members of an NGO called “Arche de Zoé/Child Rescue” following its alleged attempt to abduct and transfer 103 children to France for alleged adoption.
I call upon both Chadian and French authorities to fully investigate and shed light about the circumstances surrounding the capture of the children. Those found responsible for violations of the rights of the child must be brought to justice and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards.
I also call upon all parties to take steps to prevent further abuses, always bearing in mind the best interests of children and to respect the relevant international instruments such as the Convention of the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime) and the Hague Agreement on the Protection and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption.
Finally, I would like to commend the efforts deployed by a number of international humanitarian and national agencies on the ground which are deploying remarkable efforts to ensure the protection of the children involved, including the immediate provision of basic humanitarian assistance”.
Mr. Petit, a journalist and social scientist from Uruguay, was appointed Special Rapporteur in July 2001 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Human Rights Council’s predecessor. The mandate has since been assumed by the Human Rights Council.
For use of the information media; not an official record