Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

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Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Signed 25 May 2000[1]
Location New York[1]
Effective 18 January 2002[1]
Condition 10 ratifications[1]
Signatories 121[1]
Parties 168[1]
Depositary UN Secretary-General[2]
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish[2]

The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography is a protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and requires parties to prohibit the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000[2] and entered into force on 18 January 2002.[1] As of September 2014, 168 states are party to the protocol and another 10 states have signed but not ratified it.[1]

According to the preamble, the protocol is intended to achieve the purposes of certain articles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, where the rights are defined with the provision that parties should take "appropriate measures" to protect them. Article 1 of the protocol requires parties to protect the rights and interests of child victims of trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography, child labour and especially the worst forms of child labour.

The remaining articles in the protocol outline the standards for international law enforcement covering diverse issues such as jurisdictional factors, extradition, mutual assistance in investigations, criminal or extradition proceedings and seizure and confiscation of assets as well.

It also obliges parties to pass laws within their own territories against these practices "punishable by appropriate penalties that take into account their grave nature."

Definitions[edit]

The Protocol requires parties to prohibit the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Article 2 defines the prohibition:

  • Sale of children - Any act or transaction whereby a child is transferred by any person or group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration.
  • Child prostitution Use of a child in sexual activities for remuneration or any other form of consideration.
  • Child pornography Any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes.

The Convention generally defines a child as any human being under the age of 18, unless an earlier age of majority is recognized by a country's law.

Signatories and reservations[edit]

Qatar[edit]

Qatar added in its signing statement that it was "... subject to a general reservation regarding any provisions in the protocol that are in conflict with the Islamic Shariah."[3] Objections to this reservation were registered in the signing statements by Austria, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Sweden[edit]

Sweden has clarified its interpretation of child pornography as applying only to the visual representation of sexual acts with a child or minor persons, and not applying to adults acting, posing, or dressing, as a child.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]