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Press releases and news notes

Sexual exploitation

UNICEF statement on recent case of sexual violence in India
NEW YORK, 20 July, 2016 – “The reported gang rape of a young Dalit woman in India by the same five men who had raped her three years ago underlines the heinous culture of impunity that surrounds violence against girls and women. 

Horrifying accounts of child rights violations emerge from survivors of violence in north-western Iraq
DOHUK, Iraq, 20 August 2014 – Testimonies gathered from civilians who fled the recent offensive by armed groups in the Sinjar district of north-western Iraq have revealed appalling accounts of killing, abduction and sexual violence perpetrated against women and children, according to UNICEF.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, on sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Statement - 24 August 2010

UNICEF study unmasks child sexual abuse in Eastern Caribbean
BARBADOS, 25 November 2009 - A comprehensive study on child sexual abuse in the Eastern Caribbean has concluded that the practice is a...

New initiative to address sexual violence against girls launched at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York
NEW YORK, 25 September 2009 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five United Nations organizations (UNICEF, UNAIDS...

UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman decries continued rape and violence against women and children in the DRC
BUKAVU, DRC, 27 August 2009 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman met with victims of rape and violence in the eastern provinces of the Democratic...

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on International Women’s Day 2009
Statement - 8 March 2009

World gathers in Brazil to reinvigorate fight against sexual exploitation of children
RIO DE JANEIRO, 25 November 2008 - Nearly 3,000 participants from over 125 countries are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to exchange lessons and experiences...

Trapped and neglected - trafficked children in South Asia need the law on their side
KATHMANDU, 27 AUGUST 2008 - All too often child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking are blamed and punished across South Asia, where...

Rio de Janeiro to Host World Congress III Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
NEW YORK, 19 May 2008 – The Government of Brazil, UNICEF, ECPAT and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child officially launched the World Congress III...

V-DAY, UNICEF call for end to rape, sexual torture against girls in eastern DRC
NEW YORK, 6 August 2007 -   Highlighting the issue of violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), renowned playwright Eve Ensler has chronicled her first-hand encounters with women in eastern DRC, where sexual violence has become a routine weapon of war.

Zero tolerance for child sex tourism in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, 18 June, 2006 - A two year action plan to stop the commercial exploitation of Sri Lanka’s children has been launched today.  While the exact numbers are not known, it’s estimated that thousands of Sri Lankan children are drawn into prostitution every year, the majority of them boys.  These children are exploited by foreign tourists, as well as by local people.

UNICEF and Casa Alianza join efforts against violence
PANAMA CITY, 6 September 2004 – With the expressed intention of protecting Latin American and Caribbean children and adolescents in a more effective manner against all forms of violence that affect the region, UNICEF and the international non- governmental organization, Casa Alianza, have recently signed their first regional cooperation agreement.

Regional meeting in South Africa calls for an end to violence against children
Johannesburg, 18 July – A regional preparatory consultation on the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence for Eastern and Southern Africa opened in Johannesburg today with a strong call to end the violence that is afflicting many of the continent’s children.

Study highlights rape in Northern Uganda's largest IDP camp
GULU, UGANDA, 15 JUNE 2005 – A new study on sexual and gender-based violence has identified rape, the sexual abuse of children and physical assault as being among the most common forms of sexual violence inside the Pabbo internally displaced persons  camp in Gulu District, the largest and one of the oldest such settlements in northern Uganda’s conflict-affected districts.

Combating sexual exploitation and abuse of children: let the real work now begin
RABAT, 14 December, 2004 - The message from the opening session of the second Arab-African Forum against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children was clear.

Women in armed conflict at extreme risk of sexual violence
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 25 November 2004 – “The systematic use of rape as a weapon of war is a violation of human rights that demands urgent attention and an end to impunity,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said today.

Launch of "Code of Conduct" for travel industry to protect children from sex tourism
NEW YORK, 21 April 2004 – Striking a blow against the sex tourism industry that entraps tens of thousands of children, UNICEF today joined the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the international advocacy group ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) in launching a “Code of Conduct” for the North American travel industry.  The code is designed to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation. 

UNICEF statement on UNHCR-Save the Children report
NEW YORK, 27 February 2002 -- UNICEF welcomes the efforts of UNHCR and Save the Children to throw light on the often unreported but widespread problem of child sexual abuse. We are particularly outraged that some humanitarian workers have betrayed the trust of the children they are charged to assist and protect.

East Asian and Pacific nations act for children
BALI, 7 May 2003 - Twenty five nations in the East Asia and Pacific Region Wednesday, May 7, decided to step-up action against child sexual exploitation and trafficking.  (News Note)

UNICEF deplores violence against children and women in DRC
Friday, 6 June 2003 – Alarmed by recent reports that thousands of women and girls are being brutally raped, mutilated and killed in the Ituri province of Eastern Congo, UNICEF said today that all actors - political and military – must put an end to such acts. (Press release)

UNICEF fears for Ugandan children as cease-fire collapses
NAIROBI / GENEVA, 30 April 2003 – I am deeply concerned by the recent breakdown of the limited cease-fire in northern Uganda and by reports in the past few days of renewed abductions of children and women by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).   (News Note)

UNICEF trains Sudanese police to assist child victims of sexual violence
Khartoum/Geneva/New York, 26 July 2004 – Amidst widespread reports of sexual violence and rape of women and children in Darfur, UNICEF concluded a three-day training of Sudanese police officers designed to assist them in investigating cases of rape of children. 

UNICEF: Jessica Lange returns from DRC, B-Roll available Monday
UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador actress Jessica Lange has been visiting war-stricken eastern Congo this week, meeting children and women affected by the conflict.  The focus of her visit is on sexual exploitation and rape of women and children in DRC. Lange became a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.'s children's agency in June, and the four-day trip to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is her first assignment. Northeastern Congo is still reeling from heavy fighting and brutal human rights abuses. Rebels and soldiers prey on defenceless civilians, killing, raping, looting and even eating parts of their victims.

Mia Farrow headed to blighted Darfur
NEW YORK/KHARTOUM, 3 November 2004- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow is bound for the troubled Darfur region of Sudan this weekend to witness first hand the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting over 2 million people. For 18 months the ongoing conflict has driven villagers from their homes.

UNICEF hails entry into force of optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
NEW YORK, GENEVA, 18 January 2002 - UNICEF today hailed the entry into force of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Negotiated over a number of years with governments, experts and NGOs, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to raise the standards in protecting children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

UNICEF warns urgent action needed to end child trafficking
INDONESIA, 29 March 2004 - On the eve of a UNICEF sponsored regional conference on child sexual exploitation and trafficking in Medan in North Sumatra, UNICEF warned today that urgent action was needed to end child sexual exploitation and trafficking. Surveys conducted in the region showed that trafficking of children was lucrative, well organized within and across countries and linked to criminal activity and corruption.

UNICEF Ambassador Jessica Lange shocked and deeply moved by systematic rape of women and children in eastern DRC
LONDON/NEW YORK/GENEVA/KINSHASA, 11 August 2003 –    Shocked and deeply moved by the brutal and sometimes systematic rape of women and children in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Jessica Lange said today that the world can no longer ignore the atrocities that are being committed daily against the women and children of DRC.

Study on violence against children welcomed by UN agencies
NEW YORK, 3 April 2003 - UNICEF welcomes the appointment of Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro of Brazil by the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, as the independent expert to lead a UN study on violence against children. The joint UNICEF, WHO, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the first of its kind.  (News Note)

Child sex tourism and exploitation increasing in The Gambia
BANJUL, 5 May 2004 - A report released today by the Government of The Gambia and UNICEF reveals that sexual abuse and exploitation of children is on the rise in the tiny West African nation that is a favorite destination for tourists from several European countries.

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.

Latin America and Caribbean unite to prevent sexual exploitation of children and adolescents
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, 20 May 2004 - The Follow-Up Meeting of the II World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, concluded with an agreement among the 24 countries present to join efforts to prevent and to reduce the causes of child and adolescent vulnerability, to promote change in cultural patterns, to reform legislation and penalize perpetrators, to implement migratory measures, and to improve mechanisms to prosecute and condemn nationally and internationally those who exploit children. UNICEF calculates that on a yearly basis, 2 million children and adolescents are victims of these crimes around the world.




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