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Sustainable development goals

Sexual violence against children, whether exploitative or in the form of abuse for sexual gratification, is an attack on children’s human dignity

Sexual violence against children, whether exploitative or in the form of abuse for sexual gratification, is an attack on children’s human dignity and a violation of children’s right to physical and mental integrity.  Sexual violence often leaves indelible scars and destroys childhood as much as adulthood. Upholding children’s rights not to be subjected to sexual violence is a legal and moral imperative. States are the primary duty bearers under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, I pledge to remind every single Government whose representatives I meet, be it on the occasion of a country visit or on other occasions, of their obligation to prevent and respond to these serious violations of children’s rights. By recommending an integrated and holistic approach, I will explain that the changes which need to be brought about will have to start with an appropriate legislative and institutional framework, duly funded and enriched by genuine child participation mechanisms.

At international level, alliances and other forms of cooperation are essential for the crimes having a cross border dimension, in particular ICT generated or facilitated forms of abuse and exploitation. Partnerships with the private sector are equally crucial but should not be interpreted to mean that State relinquish their accountability.

Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio - United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

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