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Madagascar launches campaign to end child sex exploitation

MADAGASCAR, 10 December 2003 - At  the  official  launch  of  a  national  campaign  to  end  child sexual exploitation  in  Madagascar, UNICEF and ILO presented the resumes of three studies that highlighted the sexual exploitation of children in Madagascar. According  to  the  UNICEF-sponsored  study,  between 30 per cent to 50 per cent of all sex workers in  two  of  country's main  cities,  Nosy Be and Tamatave, were children under the age of 18.

This high profile launching ceremony, attended by the Ministers of Culture, Tourism   and  Population,  along  with  senior  representatives  from  the Ministries  of  Justice, Communication and Labor, members of the diplomatic corps, multi- and bi-lateral agencies and the nation's press, was sponsored  by the President of the Republic himself.

A  key  highlight  of  the  event,  in  addition to the presentation of the studies,  was  the  viewing  of  a film, produced with UNICEF support, that depicted the story of two sisters and their struggle to overcome adversity. In  telling  the story of how one sister was lured into prostitution, while her   younger   sibling   remained  steadfast  in  her  studies,  the  film successfully  communicates the dangers of sexual exploitation, AIDS and the importance of education.

For more information, please contact:

Misbah M. Sheikh
UNICEF Madagascar
Tel: (261-20) 22 626 45/46
Fax: (261-20) 22 628 45
Email: msheikh@unicef.org




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