NEW YORK (7 October 2022) – States must strive to address the vulnerabilities of children to sale and sexual exploitation within the framework of the 2030 Agenda to usher in a world where no child is left behind, a UN expert told the General Assembly today. report to the General Assembly. “We are witnessing setbacks to the gains made in achieving the sustainable development targets,” Singhateh said. The report elaborates on good practices and makes recommendations for mitigating and addressing vulnerabilities of children within the Sustainable Development Goals framework. “The 2030 Agenda is a crucial milestone for addressing the aggravated inequalities and vulnerabilities of the most vulnerable children to sale and sexual exploitation,” the expert said. Millions of children across the world were at great risk of falling victim of sale and sexual exploitation due to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including on the basis of gender, disability, race, ethnicity or identity, Singhateh’s report said. These risks were further amplified by the situation of their families, exposure to an unregulated digital environment and the detriments of institutional or alternative care, the expert said. “Children in poverty or on the move, in street situations, in rural or marginalised communities or affected by conflict or emergencies, indigenous children, children without birth certificates, children engaged in child labour are constantly at heightened risk,” the Special Rapporteur said. She highlighted the importance of strengthening transnational law enforcement cooperation and consolidating information and communication technologies to mitigate risks to children. The expert urged the development sector to play a role in scaling up States’ technology and law enforcement capacity. “Tackling the demand and supply nexus and holding those profiting from the exploitation of children accountable are equally important,” Singhateh said. “As Governments strive to build back better, they must ensure the vulnerability of children is mitigated at national, regional and international levels through legislation, policies, programmes and the allocation of adequate resources,” the expert said. ENDS“The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, protracted conflicts, climate change and disasters have inflated the problem, aggravating the vulnerability of children to sale and sexual exploitation and putting enormous strain on child protection systems,” said Mama Fatima Singhateh, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and exploitation of children in her
The expert: Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh (The Gambia) was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on sale and sexual exploitation of children by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020. She is a trained lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Ms Singhateh has held a number of high-level positions in public service in the Gambia. She holds a master’s degree in International Business Law from the University of Hull and has undergone numerous trainings in child rights programming, arbitration and mediation, and legislative drafting. She has drafted laws, organised and conducted numerous training sessions, delivered presentations at both national and international fora and written articles and reports on issues relating to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity. For more information and media requests, please contact: Ms. Shushan Khachyan (+ 41 79 444 3993 / [email protected]), Ms. Antara Singh (+41 22 917 93 28 / [email protected]) or write to [email protected]. For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza ([email protected] ) or Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]) Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.