High hopes to stop sexual exploitation of children
The World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents ended yesterday in Rio de Janeiro amid high hopes and firm promises to work with renewed effectiveness to stop sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
The draft of the Rio declaration emphasised its deep concern over the continuous increase in certain forms of sexual exploitation of children through the Internet, other new technologies and also the increased mobility of exploiters in travel and tourism.
The declaration stated that this issue should be undertaken as a matter of priority and responded to effectively as set out in the plan of action. The root of these gross violations of the child rights should be removed.
The governments should recommit to achieve the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015 and particularly halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty to ensure that all children complete a full course of quality primary education, halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and form a global partnership for development.
Advocate Salma Ali of BNWLA and Bangladeshi representatives in the drafting committee at the congress raised some important issues to be incorporated in the Rio draft.
"High risk group should be identified. Besides, organised crimes should be highlighted, and cross border issues should be dealt with," Salma Ali said.
"Victim and witness protection protocol and child-friendly legal support system are important issues for Saarc countries and need to be considered," she said, adding that all regional and internationally ratified treaties should be incorporated in municipal and domestic law.
AKM Masud Ali of Incidin in his presentation on building child protection systems: integrating community, national and international mechanisms to protect children, emphasised the role of community, which remains a key player in Bangladesh perspective.
"By protection what we actually mean is the emotional and social acceptance, rehabilitation, access to justice. In Bangladesh traditional form of access to justice taken by the communities play a very vital role. If the community desires, it can bring out a girl from the brothel, it can take quick decisions that are otherwise bogged down," he said.
"Communities are very clear on what they want to accept. They can link the local and national actors and work at grassroots level. However, a community's perception of children may differ. A sixteen year old boy is not seen as a child in such communities; this poses as a risk though," he added.
Unicef, Bangladesh stated that the government is working towards formation of a mobile team to reach out to the children who are not part of any community.
Wahida Banu of Aparejeyo Bangladesh gave a presentation on the National Plan of Action.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs has already revised a policy and a new PRSP regarding children and adolescents has been taken into action. The government and NGOs are working together towards achieving the goals in 2009.