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Meeting will discuss challenges of preventing and combating manifestations and root causes of this crime in fast changing global environment

A young boy watches content on his smart mobile phone in Selce, Croatia. The consultation will discuss recent developments, including the expansion of the Internet and social media, that have had a large impact on the sale and sexual exploitation of children.

(24 September 2019) Although significant efforts have been made to address the scourge of the sale and sexual exploitation of children, numerous gaps remain. The nature of the issue has changed considerably over recent decades with far-reaching impact on children, including the expansion of Internet, migration flows, natural disasters, conflicts, climate-related upheavals and the ever-evolving and increasing use of assisted reproductive technologies, such as surrogacy.

Against this backdrop, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material, Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, in partnership with the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti, will hold a two-day expert meeting in Florence. The aim of the meeting is to reflect on the current state of play of this problem, its root causes and new manifestations, as well as the relevance and the impact of interventions to eliminate the sale and sexual exploitation of children. The meeting will take place on 24th and 25th September 2019, at UNICEF Innocenti and will gather over 30 experts in child rights.

This expert meeting is part of a series of consultations, including with Member States and a call for input seeking information from all interested stakeholders to inform the Special Rapporteur’s final report to the Human Rights Council in March 2020.

New UN Peacekeeping Base Offers Yei Community Path to Peace and Prosperity, Yei, South Sudan. Migration flows, natural disasters, conflicts, and climate-related upheavals, among other developments, have changed the nature of the scourge of the sale and sexual exploitation of children considerably.

The two-day consultation will offer a platform for debate and open dialogue to exchange experiences, challenges, good practices, lessons learned, and recommendations as to what are the priorities and neglected issues requiring urgent attention. Sessions will explore:

  1. Awareness and attitudes underpinning the sale and sexual exploitation of children
  2. States’ jurisdiction and institutional accountability
  3. Root causes and demand for the sexual exploitation of children and children’s vulnerability to sale and sexual exploitation
  4. Legal frameworks to protect children from sale and sexual exploitation
  5. Strengthening child protection systems
  6. Special focuses on sport, technology, and migration and forced labour.
  7. Evidence on effective prevention and response strategies
  8. The way forward

UNICEF Innocenti will host the meeting and contribute expertise on child rights and protection across all the sessions. Priscilla Idele, UNICEF Innocenti’s Director a.i., will open the meeting. Chief of Research on Child Rights and Child Protection, Ramya Subrahmanian, will chair the opening session, as well as a session on evidence of effective prevention and response strategies. Our Digital Research Specialist, Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, will chair a session with a special focus on technology.

Follow UNICEF Innocenti and @UN_SPExperts on Twitter, as well as the hashtags #StandUp4HumanRights and #EndChildAbuse for updates from the consultation.