Skip to main content

Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children

Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children

Purpose of the mandate

As the sale, sexual abuse and exploitation continues to impact the lives of millions of children everywhere, both in scale and methods, the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, was created to intensify efforts to prevent and eradicate this phenomenon.

The Special Rapporteur is mandated to:

  • Identify new patterns of the phenomena and analyse the root causes of sale, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children;
  • Address concerns of alleged human rights violations of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and report on the human rights situations around the world;
  • Promote promising practices and measures, including laws, regulations, government programmes and policies, towards combatting this phenomenon and implementing international standards concerning the rights of children;
  • Make recommendations on strengthening measures and strategies for the prevention, protection, rehabilitation, reintegration and reparation of child victims and survivors of sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

About the mandate

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children was created in 1990 by the Commission on Human Rights, pursuant to resolution 1990/68 .

In 2023, in its resolution 52/26, the Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolutions 7/13, 34/16 and 43/22. At the same time, the mandate was renamed to: Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

The mandate is also guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted on 20 November 1989, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which was adopted on 25 May 2000. The Convention has been ratified by 196 States and the Optional Protocol by 176 states.

Learn more about the mandate and its purpose

Current mandate holder

Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh

Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh (Gambia) was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on sale the and sexual exploitation of children by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020. She started her mandate on 1 May 2020.

Ms. Singhateh is a trained lawyer with over 20 years of experience, currently working as an international consultant on human rights and legal and institutional reforms. She holds a master’s degree in International Business Law from the University of Hull and has undergone numerous trainings in child rights programming, arbitration and mediation, and legislative drafting.

Read Ms. Singhateh’s full biography

Key documents


25 Years of Fighting the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children: Addressing new challenges
This handbook, produced by the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, with support from Plan International, Defence for Children-ECPAT Netherlands, and Terre des Hommes International. It commemorates the 25 years of achievements of this mandate.


Child-friendly booklet on the mandate
This booklet teaches children how to connect with the Special Rapporteur and how to find out what’s being done in their country to protect children. 


Child-friendly fact sheet on the mandate
This fact sheet instructs children on key information regarding the Special Rapporteur, including: the function of the mandate, the activities of Special Rapporteur, and the violations addressed by the mandate.


Terminology guidelines for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
This document provides individuals and agencies working for the prevention and elimination of all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children with guidance on the different terms and concepts they may encounter in their work.

Contact Information

Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh
Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children
OHCHR-UNOG
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland
Fax: (+41 22) 917 90 06

Email: [email protected]

Former mandate holders


Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (The Netherlands)
2014-2020

Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid (Morocco)
2008-2014

Mr. Juan Miguel Petit (Uruguay)
2001-2008

Ms. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos (Philippines)
1994-2001

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand)
1991-1994

Videos


"I have the right" | Victims of Sexual Exploitation & Abuse (18 September 2022)
Watch on YouTube


A practical approach to addressing the sale and sexual exploitation of children (11 March 2022)
Watch on Vimeo