Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
|Signed||25 May 2000|
|Effective||18 January 2002|
|Languages||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish|
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 and entered into force on 18 January 2002. As of late-September 2015, 171 states are party to the protocol and another nine states have signed but not ratified it.
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."
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
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." Objections to this reservation were registered in the signing statements by Austria, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Qatar withdrew its reservation on 18 June 2008. Qatar currently has no reservations to this Protocol.
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.
- Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse
- Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
- United Nations Treaty Collection: Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Retrieved on 9 December 2008.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Resolution 263. Optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography A/RES/54/263 25 March 2000. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
- "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography - Status". United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Verbotim Report 97. A/54/PV.97 page 4. Mr. Hedman Sweden 25 May 2000. Retrieved 2008-03-19.