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Sexual exploitation

Global: Campaign for universal ratification of UN Optional Protocols on children's rights


The III World Congress Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 25 - 28 November 2008. Read the outcome document


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Millions of girls and boys worldwide are being used in prostitution, pornography, trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. Research has shown that abused and exploited children often become either abused and exploited adolescents and adults or abusers and exploiters themselves.

Children in situations of armed conflicts, and displaced, migrant and refugee children are particularly vulnerable to all forms of sexual exploitation. Local child prostitution organised exists in most countries of the world. It is exacerbated by economic and social upheaval, extreme poverty, deprivation and excessive consumerism. HIV/AIDS has increased demand for ever younger child prostitutes, in the mistaken belief that they present a much lower risk of infection.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child says signatories must protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which took place from 17 to 20 December 2001 in Yokohama, Japan resulted in agreement on the Yokohama Global Commitment, and reaffirmed but also reinforced promises made at the First World Congress in 1996. [For further details see CRINMAIL number 340, 344 and 346]


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Sexual Exploitation and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

CRC article 34 obliges States to provide protection from sexual exploitation. Furthermore, on 18 January 2002, the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography entered into force.

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