UNITED NATIONS Press Release
Committee on the Rights of the Child
25 May 2010
The Committee on the Rights of the Child this morning opened it fifty-fourth session, hearing an address by Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Committee also adopted its agenda and programme of work for the session, and a new Committee member, Azza El-Ashmawy, took the solemn oath.
Ms. Pillay noted that today marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The official commemoration would take place in New York later today and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had co-organised this event with several other bodies. She was pleased that the Chairperson of this Committee, Yanghee Lee, would be among the panellists. Two global campaigns would also be launched on this occasion to promote the universal ratification of the Optional Protocols by 2012, the year that will mark the tenth anniversary of their entry into force.
Ms. Pillay also informed the Committee of other noteworthy initiatives that pertained to their work. Earlier this month the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosted a meeting on the cooperation between regional and international human rights mechanisms. Representatives of the existing regional human rights mechanisms in Africa, the Americas and Europe shared the results of earlier regional consultations and discussed lessons learned as well as proposals for enhanced cooperation between international and regional human rights mechanisms. She believed that the strategies which could be developed and adopted at fora such as these could help broaden the reach of the Committee’s work in promoting the rights of children and all other human rights. She encouraged the Committee to take full advantage of such cross-fertilization with other human rights bodies.
Ms. Pillay said she was also encouraged by the first meeting of the joint working group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which took place in January with the support of United Nations Children's Fund. At the time, the members agreed to pursue a number of avenues of cooperation, including a decision to draw up a joint general comment/recommendation on harmful traditional practices, with a focus on female genital mutilation and early marriage. Ms. Pillay said such cooperation among treaty bodies was most welcome and this initiative would also serve as an excellent example to others.
Jean Zermatten, Committee Vice Chairperson, thanked the High Commissioner for her remarks and noted that the Committee had unanimously accepted the appointment of Egypt to replace Committee expert Moushira Khattab until the end of her term because she had a great deal of activities in her country and had decided to resign. He was happy to announce that the Committee had accepted the nomination by Egypt of Azza El-Ashmawy, the Director General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the Director of the Anti-Trafficking in Children Unit.
Mr. Zermatten remarked that there was still concern about how the Committee would examine all of the reports being submitted to it in a timely fashion, despite the fact that the Committee continued to work in two chambers to review reports. The Committee would continue to review its methods of work and great progress had been made the day before in developing and adopting new rules to help the Committee harmonize its work.
Mr. Zermatten noted that during the last session the Committee drew up a long and ambitious list of general comments which would take a great deal of time and work, but they had already made great progress over the last two days. He expressed hope that the Committee could return to the practice of having a day of general discussion in 2011, but there would be no opportunity to do so during the remainder of 2010.
At the end of the meeting, Committee Secretary Maja Andrijasevic-Boko said that since the Committee's last session, 20 reports had been received – 7 under the Convention and 13 under the Optional Protocols. A second periodic report had been received from Malta, and combined second, third and fourth periodic reports had been received from Armenia, Guyana, Lithuania, Slovenia, Yemen and Uzbekistan. To date, the Committee had received a total of 603 reports, and had considered 435. There were five outstanding initial reports: from the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tonga and Tuvalu. Reports on the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict had been received from Burkina Faso, Holy See, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Slovakia, Thailand, and the United States. Argentina, Burkina Faso, Holy See, Rwanda, and the United States had submitted their reports under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
When the Committee next reconvenes in public, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 May, it will begin its review of reports by State parties in two parallel chambers. In Chamber A, Serbia will present its initial reports under the two Optional Protocols to the Convention, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the involvement of children in armed conflict (CRC/C/OPAC/SRB/1 and CRC/C/OPSC/SRB/1). In Chamber B, Nigeria will introduce its third and fourth periodic reports (CRC/C/NGA/3-4).
HOST AN EVENT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Helping victims of human trafficking is as simple as talking to a friend. Host an event and invite the community to discuss the exploitation of human beings. At this campaign, we are eager to spread the word and we'd like to talk at any community event about human trafficking and victim identification.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 -- Complete Report (PDF)
-Introductory Material (PDF)
-Country Narratives: A-C (PDF)
-Country Narratives: D-I (PDF)
-Country Narratives: J-M (PDF)
-Country Narratives: N-S (PDF)
-Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case (PDF)
-Relevant International Conventions/Closing Material (PDF)
These are some of the things you can do to help fight human trafficking:
Be informed! Educate yourself about human trafficking by reading about it. Follow events in the news. Keep your eyes open - human trafficking is happening all around us.
Raise awareness! Talk to friends, family and colleagues. You could even start talking to your local politicians and authorities.
Get involved! Participate in an anti-trafficking movement in your area and get involved in its activities and campaigns (e.g. hold events, distribute posters, leaflets etc.) in your neighborhood and in schools.
Encourage businesses! Be a responsible consumer! Inform yourself on the labour policies of companies to ensure their products are free from slave labour and other forms of exploitation. If possible, buy fair trade products.
Seek support! If you suspect that someone has been trafficked report it to the institutions or assistance facilities dealing with human trafficking in your area.
"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name -- modern slavery."
– President Barack OBAMA