Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Item 3
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
Australian statement

12 March 2014

Australia welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur. Child exploitation and abuse are abhorrent and unconscionable. Australia remains firmly committed to protecting all children from such human rights abuses.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for her work on these issues and welcome the progress that has been made. However, much more needs to be done. The report details new and increased vulnerabilities, including the global spread of the internet, corruption and conflicts. The international community as a whole must work together to address these challenges.

Australia continues to take strong action at the national level to prevent the sale and exploitation of children. Consistent with the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations, Australia has comprehensively criminalised these forms of exploitation, including early and forced marriage. Australia is working to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and recorded its first conviction for trafficking in children on 16 April 2013.

Australia recognises the importance of child sensitive justice systems and provides a range of witness protections for child-witnesses. These protections ensure that children are provided with appropriate care and support, including by allowing for the giving of evidence by closed circuit television, video-link or video-recording. Children are also able to have a support person with them while they give evidence.

We also work with other countries, and in partnership with NGOs, to tackle these issues, including through the Virtual Global Taskforce.

Australia would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s comment on good examples of international and intra-state cooperation, and the future role of private sector-led initiatives. Australia is also interested in any further insight the Special Rapporteur has on the exploitation of children for organ trafficking.