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Jessica Lange urges Parliamentiarians to protect children from exploitation

Two events and two press conferences highlight UNICEF/IPU focus on child protection and commercial sexual exploitation at the 110thInter-Parliamentary Union.  Launch of Handbook on Child Protection for Parliamentarians.

Who:  UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jessica Lange

What:  Ms. Lange will challenge lawmakers at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to commit themselves to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation. She will also visit UNICEF projects in Cancun and Mexico City that highlight what happens to children whose societies have failed to protect them, and how prevention is key to addressing exploitation.

Tuesday 20 April 2004 –

9:00 – 11:00  Sheraton Centro Historico – Ms. Lange launches the joint IPU/UNICEF “Handbook for Parliamentarians on Child Protection” at the 110th General Assembly of the IPU.  The Handbook provides practical ways for parliamentarians to protect children from exploitation. A press conference will follow.

Wednesday, 21 April 2004 -

  • Panel discussion on sexual exploitation of children from 9 - 12.30 at the Sheraton Hotel – Centro Historico in Room TBA. Among confirmed participants are: with Ms. Lange, British Parliamentarian Marion Roe, Bruce Harris of ECPAT/Casa Alianza, and Mr. Joe Judd.   
  • Thirty-minute press conference at 12:30 in the Room Don Diego 2  with Ms. Jessica Lange, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador; Mr. Joe Judd, Director of Programme Division, UNICEF, and UNICEF Mexico Country Representative Yoriko Yasukawa.

Why:   Each year, tens of millions of children suffer the worst forms of exploitation, abuse, and violence. They are recruited into armed conflicts, trafficked, prostituted, mutilated and made to work in abominable conditions.   Currently, an estimated:   

  • 246 million children are made to work, with about 180 million engaged in the worst forms of child labour.  
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked every year and forced to work in prostitution rings, sweatshops or agricultural plantations.
  • 2 million children are believed to be exploited through prostitution and pornography;
  • Over 100 million women and girls alive today have suffered some form of genital mutilation.
  • 300,000 child soldiers, some as young as eight, are exploited in armed conflicts in over 30 countries.

These abuses are a manifestation of the world’s systematic failure to protect those who are most defenceless. The Handbook outlines what legislators can do to carry out change in legislation.  It will be distributed in over 140 countries and will be used as a catalyst for action at the parliamentary level.  

For further information, please contact:

Catherine Langevin, UNICEF Mexico cell.  1088-3410

Monica Sayrols, UNICEF Mexico, cell. 1019-9230

Kate Donovan,  UNICEF Media, tel:  917 378 2128  or 917 796 9845 

UIP/IPU : Luisa Ballin - +41.79.649.71.45

UNICEF Mexico Country Office tel :  52023233

Grupo mexicano/Mexican Group : René Hernández. Tel. 0052.55.51 30.22.00, e-mail chavez.prensa@senado.gob.mx; comunicacionsocial2@senado.gob.mx.





Archival B-roll

B-roll prepared by UNICEF for 2nd World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children


Wednesday, 21 April – 11:15 a.m. at UNICEF House - In New York, representatives of the North American travel and tourism industry and UNICEF will launch the “Code of Conduct,” establishing an ethical corporate policy against commercial sexual exploitation of children.  The event will be attended by Queen Silvia of Sweden, Carol Bellamy, the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on the Trafficking of Persons, John Miller.  See:  www.thecode.org

All children deserve protection from exploitation and abuse

Related links

UNICEF works to protect all children

Jessica Lange urges Parliamentiarians to protect children from exploitation

Photo essay: Goodwill Ambassador Jessica Lange’s 2003 trip to DR Congo (popup)

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