FORUM AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
MOROCCO, 24-26 OCTOBER 2001
Arab-African Forum Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children was
held in Rabat, from 24 to 26 October 2001, under the Honorary
Presidency of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, with the aim
to prepare for the effective participation of the Arab African
region at the 2nd
World Conference against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children which
will take place in Yokohama (Japan) between 17 & 20 December,
2001. The Rabat Meeting set as its principal objectives: the
reaffirmation of the political commitment of the states; the
revision of progress since the World Congress of Stockholm (1996);
and to devise intervention strategies that reflect on regional
specificity and priorities for the effective and efficient combating
of sexual exploitation of children. Indeed, the Stockholm meeting
was mainly a platform for the creation of global awareness of the
problem, which necessitated regional specificity. The five years
post-Stockholm highlight the following challenges, and lack of
changes, for the countries of the region:
The subject of
sexual exploitation remains a taboo in many countries.
There continues to be
a lack of situational analysis and qualitative and quantitative data
collection mechanisms at both local and regional levels.
There continues to be
an absence of multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary approaches and
coordination mechanisms in the field of prevention and combating of
sexual exploitation of children.
There continues to be
a lack of training in human resources in required disciplines, most
notably in the areas of justice, policing, tourism industry,
transport, social work, health care and education.
There is a paucity of
programs for the rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims
of sexual exploitation.
root causes of this calamity are poverty, illiteracy and inadequate
educational systems, gender discrimination, cultural practices
prejudicing children, such as mutilations, and the attitude of many
great number of the countries in the group are victims of armed
conflicts, war, military occupation and blockades generating
situations dominated by violence, which dramatically increases the
vulnerabilities that facilitate the sexual exploitation of children.
sexual exploitation of children is closely linked to HIV/AIDS and
sexually transmitted diseases, with HIV/AIDS being a cause and a
consequence of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
the close of this forum, we the members of the Arab African
on the Rights of the Child is the main instrument for the protection
and the promotion of the rights of the child.
proceedings took place in the context of the Global Movement for
Children and preparations for the Special Session of the UN General
Assembly on Children, the Rabat Arab-African Forum Against the
Sexual Exploitation of Children continues the momentum generated by
other regional initiatives. Some of these are : The Arab Civil
Society Forum (15-19 February 2001), The African First Ladies Summit
(Marrakesh 20-22 April 2001), the Arab-African Conference of Finance
Ministers (Marrakesh 21-23 Mai 2001), the Pan-African Forum on
Children (Cairo 28-31 May 2001), the High Level Arab Conference on
the Rights of Children (2-4 July 2001) and the 36th
Inter-Parliamentary Session (Ouagadougou, 9-13 September 2001).
These meetings have allowed for a gathering of various stake holders
in Government, NGOs, Private Sector, International and Parliamentary
Organizations for the purpose of reflecting on the protection of the
rights of children and the respect of their dignity.
This meeting is
part of the framework aiming to implement the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, and its Optional Protocols related to the sale
of children, child prostitution and pornography and the involvement
of children in armed conflict.
The protocols also related to the ILO Convention 182 on the
elimination of the worst forms of child labor and to the UN
Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. The latter protocol is
geared towards the suppression and punishment of crimes related to
the trafficking of human beings, in particular women and children.
the great advances realized during these last years, notably in the
domains of :
of political leadership at the highest levels in many countries of
of outlines for national action plans in some countries.
of the Governments of the regions to the commitments taken in
Stockholm and their determination to be more involved in the process
involvement of national and international NGOs (ECPAT, NGO Group for
the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other competent
mobilization of adolescent and other youth in the process of the
promotion and defense of the rights of the child.
generalization of the process of the harmonization of national
legislations with the Convention on the Rights of the Child so as
not to penalize the victims and protect them while making the
authors of acts of sexual exploitation guilty of committing a
by all the participants of the fact that the existence of this
calamity requires the commitment of all of us.
We commit ourselves to and recommend the following:
1.1 Ratify and implement (a) the
Convention on the Rights of the Child and the two additional
protocols, notably the one related to the sale of children, child
prostitution and child pornography and the involvement of children
in armed conflicts, (b) the ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of
child labor and Recommendation 190.
of national legal texts with the provisions of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and ensuring their enforcement.
1.3 Adapt legal provisions intended
to protect children from sex tourism.
Devise national programmes and projects of prevention, for
capacity building (through integrated multi disciplinary
training), and detection and treatment of any form of physical and
sexual abuse of children.
and support the creation of a National and regional observatories to
combat sexual exploitation of children.
of actions already undertaken, such as:
analysis and studies, investigations on the question of sexual
exploitation of children; and
awareness of national decision-makers of all levels on the problems
related to the sexual exploitation of children.
1.7 Foster the conscience awareness
of adults and children of the rights of the child and the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in
particular the girl child, for the purpose of changing attitudes and
modes of behavior and hence prevent the occurrence of the
strategies and mechanisms for encouraging the participation of the
juveniles in order to better protect and defend themselves, notably
through sexual education.
1.9 Involve travel agencies and
tourism ministries of various countries in programs that combat the
sexual exploitation of children.
Ensure and strengthen security services, especially at the
1.11 Promote peace education in order to prevent armed conflicts,
which favor the proliferation of the practice of sexual
1.12 Promote the strategy of establishing “child and
1.13 Introduce mechanisms for the collection of quantitative and
qualitative data, and its recording, including processing, at the
level of the concerned departments, the judiciary and para-judiciary,
health, education, social services.
1.14 Strengthen inter-ministerial coordination within the
framework of an adequate response to the complex character of the
problem of sexual exploitation of children.
1.15 Strengthen partnerships with the United Nations system,
international institutions and organizations, NGOs (national and
international), parliamentarians and the private sector.
1.16 Allocate human and financial resources to national programs
for combating the sexual exploitation of children.
We recommend to the Governments, NGOs, associations and the
private sectors of the countries of there the region the following:
and support the creation of national and regional networks for
combating the sexual exploitation of children.
the participation of children for the purpose of understanding the
phenomenon and providing solutions.
studies of the sexual exploitation of children and disseminate them
at the national and regional levels.
information, education and communication campaigns against the
sexual exploitation of children in cooperation with local officials,
religious and opinion leaders, families and communities.
systematically the component “sexual exploitation” in the
documents concerning the situational analysis of children and women.
We recommend to the international bodies in the countries of
the region the following:
actions concerned with lobbying, dissemination information and
sensitizing. The purpose is to get the countries to ratify and apply
the international instruments, notably the CDE and its two
additional protocols as well as its other pertinent instruments.
a technical assistance and support for the formulation of specific
projects or national action plans for fighting against the sexual
exploitation of children.
3.3 Set up and ensure the functioning
of national committees for combating sexual exploitation.
3.4 Labor for setting up structures
for the family and social rehabilitation/ reintegration of the
victims, through providing free of charge qualitative social and
psychological care for them.
Include the question of sexual exploitation of the children
within the aid programs of the United Nations Aid for Development (UNAD).
3.6 Take into account and follow up
the results of this Forum in line with the practice of following up
the declarations of conferences held by Arab and African regional
and ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the United
Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the sexual
exploitation of the child emanating from the examination of the
implementation reports of the CDE.
appropriate systems for quantitative and qualitative data collection
and follow-up mechanisms on the basis of precise indicators.
the members of the participating delegations from the MENA, WACA,
ESA Regions respectfully request of the government of Morocco to
present the results of this Forum to the Second World Congress
against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, in Yokohama,
Japan 17 – 20 December, 2001.
October 26, 2001