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Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

Background to the mandate

On 20 November 1989, the United Nations General Assembly in New York adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This international instrument recognizes "that in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration".

The Convention is now ratified by 193 States. In May 2000, the General Assembly adopted and opened for signature an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the Protocol, which has now been ratified by 126 states, entered into force in January 2002.

By 1990, international awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation and the sale of children had grown to such a level that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography by resolution 1990/68, mandating the Special Rapporteur to investigate the exploitation of children around the world and to submit reports thereon to the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, making recommendations for the protection of the rights of the children concerned.

These recommendations are targeted primarily at Governments, United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations.

Since then, the appointment of the Special Rapporteur has been regularly renewed, most recently in March 2011 by Human Rights Council resolution 16/12, for a three-year period. In its resolution 7/13, the Human Rights Council mandated the Special Rapporteur, in particular through visits and exchange of communications with Governments, to, inter alia:

  • analyse the root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • identify new patterns of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • identify, exchange and promote best practices on measures to combat the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • continue efforts to promote comprehensive strategies and measures on the prevention of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
  • make recommendations on the promotion and protection of human rights of children 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.

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More press releases and statements

 

Special Rapporteur

Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid
(Morocco), since 2008

 

Previous Special Rapporteurs

Mr. Juan Miguel Petit
2001-2008

Ms. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos
1994-2001 

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn
1991-1994