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Child Prostitution/Pornography: UN expert in fact-finding mission to the United States

GENEVA (11 October 2010) – UN Special Rapporteur Najat Maalla M’jid will launch a fact-finding mission to the United States of America from 12-27 October, in what will be the first visit to the country since 1996 by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

“During my mission, I will gather first-hand information on the main issues related to the sale of children, commercial sexual exploitation of children, as well as on the child protection system in general,” Ms. Maalla M’jid said.

The Special Rapporteur will travel to New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Atlanta. There, she will visit shelters and centers that deal with child victims of exploitation and abuse. She will also hold discussions with government authorities at both the federal and the state levels as well as representatives of civil society.

Ms. Maalla M’jid is mandated, among other things, to analyse the root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as identify new patterns and promote strategies to prevent and fight the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Special Rapporteur also advises Governments, UN bodies and NGOs 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.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

Ms. Najat M’jid Maalla (Morocco) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the sale of children in May 2008. She is independent from any government or organization. Ms. M’jid Maalla is a member of the Commission on the Rights of the Child of the Moroccan 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://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/children/rapporteur/index.htm or write to srsaleofchildren@ohchr.org

OHCHR Country Page – United States of America: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/USIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact Dima Yared (Tel: +41 79 509 0557 / email: dyared@ohchr.org)