Printer-friendly version New Report Says Millions of Children are Sexually Exploited Launch at UN Headquarters GENEVA / NEW YORK, 12 December 2001 - UNICEF called today for a coordinated global effort to stamp out the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
"Millions of children throughout the world are being bought and sold like chattel and used as sex slaves," declared UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.
And there must be alternatives that enable children and families to live in dignity.
Education is vital to preventing sexual exploitation of children.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children and trafficking are two elements of the more pervasive problem of sexual abuse.
Victims are at high risk of unwanted pregnancies and of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, passed in 2000, prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography.
Because children are frequently shuttled through underground networks of traffickers, most sexual exploitation of children never comes to the attention of government authorities.
In many countries, it is not even recognized as a problem.
It is being released in conjunction with the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which takes place 17-20 December in Yokohama, Japan.
UNICEF is co-sponsoring the Congress with ECPAT International, the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Government of Japan.