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Sale and sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert in country mission to Guatemala

GENEVA (16 August 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Najat Maalla M’jid will undertake a country mission to Guatemala from 20 to 29 August 2012. This will be the second visit to the country since 2000 by an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

“During my mission, I will focus on the scope, the new 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 from sale and sexual exploitation,” said Ms. Maalla M’jid.

The Special Rapporteur, who visits Guatemala at the invitation of the Government, will also provide advice on the promotion and protection of human rights of actual or potential victims of sale, prostitution and pornography, as well as on the aspects related to the rehabilitation of child victims of sexual exploitation.
The Special Rapporteur,will travel to Guatemala City, Cobán, Sololá, Coatepeque and Tecun Umán 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.

At the end of her visit, 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.

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 2013.

A press conference will be held at the end of the mission on Wednesday 29 August at 12:30pm at Clarion Suites Hotel.

Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid (Morocco) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in May 2008. She is independent from any government or organization. Ms. Maalla M’jid is paediatrician and member of the Moroccan National 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 – Guatemala: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/GTIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:
In Geneva (before the mission): Selma Vadala (+41 22 917 9108 / svadala@ohchr.org) or write to SRsaleofchildren@ohchr.org
In Guatemala City (during the mission): Edith Ramírez (+502 2382 3401 / eramirez@ohchr.org.gt)
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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