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Programmes of Action for the Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and for the Elimination of the Exploitation of Child Labour.

Publisher UN Commission on Human Rights
Author UN Commission on Human Rights (48th sess. : 1992 : Geneva)
Publication Date 5 March 1992
Citation / Document Symbol E/CN.4/RES/1992/74
Reference 48
Cite as UN Commission on Human Rights, Programmes of Action for the Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and for the Elimination of the Exploitation of Child Labour., 5 March 1992, E/CN.4/RES/1992/74, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f24950.html [accessed 29 July 2014]

1992/74.
Programmes of action for the prevention of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and for the elimination of the exploitation of child labour

The Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind its resolutions 1991/54 and 1991/55 of 6 March 1991,

Having examined the report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery on its sixteenth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/41 and Corr.1), especially the draft programme of action for the prevention of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, annexed to the report and transmitted to the Commission by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in its decision 1991/113 of 29 August 1991,

Having also examined the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1992/45) prepared in accordance with its resolutions 1991/54 and 1991/55,

Bearing in mind decision 1990/6 on children in particularly difficult circumstances, adopted by the Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund at its 1990 session,

Deeply concerned at the information received relating to the exploitation of children in its different forms, the sale of children, child prostitution ,and child pornography,

Noting with deep concern the information on the generalization of the exploitation of child labour,

Conscious of the harm that these practices cause to children all over the world, especially in third world countries with problems of development,

Taking note with satisfaction of the intention of the International Labour Organisation to carry out a new programme on the elimination of the exploitation of child labour,

Conscious of the necessity to adopt urgent measures for the prevention and elimination of these problems,

I PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE PREVENTION OF THE SALE OF CHILDREN, CHILD PROSTITUTION AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

1. Adopts the Programme of Action for the Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, submitted by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, annexed to the present resolution;

2. Recommends to all States, whether or not they are parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that they adopt legislative and administrative measures necessary to carry out the Programme of Action at the national and international levels;

3. Urges the United Nations bodies and intergovernmental organizations concerned, such as the United Nations Children's Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Tourism Organization and the International Criminal Police Organization, to bear in mind the Programme of Action in the design of their policies and in the development of programmes relating to the child population and to the family;

4. Also urges non-governmental organizations to adopt the Programme of Action for the development of activities relating to their mandates;

5. Recommends to the Committee on the Rights of the Child that it consider the possibility of bearing in mind the Programme of Action in studying the reports submitted by States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and, in general, in all actions that it carries out in accordance with its mandate;

6. Recommends that the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children bear in mind the Programme of Action in developing his activities under his mandate;

7. Requests all States to inform periodically the Sub-Commission of measures adopted to implement the Programme of Action and on the efficacy of such measures;

8. Requests the Sub-Commission to submit every two years a report to the Commission on Human Rights on the state of implementation of the Programme of Action by all States;

9. Requests the Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights to extend the necessary collaboration to the Sub-Commission in order to fulfil the present mandate;

10. Decides to examine the question of the implementation of the Programme of Action every two years in order to evaluate the progress made in the prevention and elimination of the problems of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

II PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE EXPLOITATION OF CHILD LABOUR

1. Welcomes with satisfaction the report of the Secretary-General, (E/CN.4/1992/45) prepared pursuant to its resolutions 1991/54 and 1991/55, on the draft programme of action for the elimination of the exploitation of child labour;

2. Takes note of the comments received by the Secretary-General from Governments, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations on the draft programme of action on the elimination of the exploitation of child labour;

3. Decides to submit the draft programme of action on the elimination of the exploitation of child labour (E/CN.4/1992/45, annex) to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities so that it may make the necessary changes, taking into account the views received by Governments, specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;

4. Requests the Sub-Commission to give the utmost priority to the re-elaboration of this draft programme of action so that it may be approved by the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-ninth session;

5. Requests the Special Rapporteur, given his experience, to consider the possibility or presenting his comments and suggestions to the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, if possible by attending the session of the Group;

6. Requests the Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights to provide the Sub-Commission with the necessary support for the fulfilment of this mandate;

7. Decides to consider the question at its forty-ninth session under the agenda item entitled "Rights of the child".

55th meeting
5 March 1992
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XXII.]

ANNEX Programme of action for the prevention of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

General

1. Child victims of trafficking and sale, child prostitution and child pornography are children in especially difficult circumstances, as indicated in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, adopted in New York on 30 September 1990 by the World Summit for Children (See E/CN.4/1991/59, annex).

2. The trafficking in and sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography constitute modern forms of slavery which are incompatible with human rights, human dignity and values and jeopardize the welfare of individuals, families and society as a whole.

3. To prevent the trafficking in and sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, concerted measures are called for at the national, regional and international levels, including information, education, assistance and rehabilitation, legislative measures and a strengthening of law enforcement in this field. Coordinating agencies should be appointed or established at the national, regional and global levels.

4. At the global level, coordination of the Programme of Action should be carried out by the Centre for Human Rights in cooperation with other sections of the United Nations Secretariat, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization. Cooperation should also be established with regional bodies, the World Tourism Organization, the International Criminal Police Organization and non-governmental organizations,

5. Economic conditions will continue to have considerable influence over the destiny of children, particularly in the developing countries. For the future of all children, it is absolutely essential to ensure or revive sustained and sustainable economic growth and development in all countries.

6. The best interests of the child should govern every decision and guide all efforts undertaken to implement this Programme of Action.

7. The measures contained within this Programme of Action should be implemented bearing in mind the economic imbalance which exists between industrialized States and the developing nations and the need to support the efforts of developing countries in this regard.

8. States are required to accord a clear high level of commitment and priority to combat and eliminate the trafficking in, sale and sexual exploitation of children.

9. States should systematically discourage the exercise of all customs, traditions and practices which encourage the trafficking in and sale or sexual exploitation of children.

10. The sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography cannot be justified by reason of poverty or underdevelopment. Besides the long-term action required to treat the underlying causes and thus prevent these phenomena from occurring in the future, it is essential that States take urgent and immediate measures to reduce the dangers that children face.

11. In situations of emergency, national or international conflicts, or disasters, when communities and normal patterns of life break down, children are especially vulnerable. In such circumstances, States should take all necessary measures to protect children from trafficking, sale and sexual exploitation.

Information

12. International, regional and national information campaigns are required to raise public awareness at all levels of the grave problems of trafficking in, and sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography by:

(a) Warning and informing people about these grave abuses;

(b) Informing them about prevention programmes;

(c) Publicizing ways of reporting these abuses;

(d) Publicizing services for victims;

(e) Making known the penalties for the perpetrators;

(f) Teaching that culture and traditions which encourage these forms of child abuse are contrary to international norms for the protection of children.

13. In order to increase the availability and to improve the quality of information, investigation of abuses should be undertaken by public and private institutions. The results should, wherever possible, be made public and exchanged between governmental and non-governmental organizations at the local, national and international levels. Due regard should be paid to the need for confidentiality with regard to the identity of the victims.

14. It is imperative that information programmes be carried out on a continuous basis. Nevertheless, to provide a focus for the campaigns, States should consider the possibility of proclaiming a world day for the abolition of contemporary forms of slavery. The anniversary of the adoption of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 2 December, might be an appropriate date. Alternatively, an international children's day already established in a State's calendar might be used for this purpose.

15. The media should contribute fully to these information efforts with a view to ending the silence surrounding these forms of child exploitation.

16. Non-governmental organizations and associations should be encouraged to lend their full support to these efforts.

17. Law enforcement agencies should be given a significant role in these information campaigns.

Education

18. The following educational goals are central to this Programme of Action:

(a) Universal primary education for all, with special emphasis on girls;

(b) Accelerated literacy programmes for women and girls;

(c) Vocation-oriented formal and/or non-formal education curricula.

19. Preventive educational programmes could usefully be integrated into primary and secondary school curricula. Similar programmes should be designed for out-of-school children and particularly vulnerable groups, for example, street children, adolescent mothers and single and abandoned mothers.

20. Specific educational measures and training should be directed towards professionals who work with children, including teachers, social workers, health workers, members of the police, members of the judiciary and religious personnel. Special educational measures should be directed towards the general public, especially men and parents, and to particular groups, such as travel agencies, tourists and the military.

21. All educational efforts should be based on universal ethical principles including the recognition of the integrity of the family and of every child's fundamental rights to the integrity of his or her own body and the protection of his or her identity. Such educational programmes should include:

(a) The rights of the child and the respect due to all children by all;

(b) The inculcation of values such as self-esteem;

(c) The transmission of universal ethical principles;

(d) Making the child understand the dangers of trafficking and sale, child prostitution and pornography, including health risks such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and of drug and alcohol consumption and their damaging effects;

(e) Ways to prevent, identify and expose such abuses and to help child Victims;

(f) Education in fatherhood and motherhood, including the need to create a family atmosphere of trust and communication within which a child can expose these issues;

(g) The principle of equality between men and women.

22. Innovative methods, including the use of the mass media, and grass-root community-based methods reaching the widest possible public, including potential victims, should be encouraged.

23. In all educational measures, care should be taken to avoid both underplaying and sensationalizing these issues. Account should be taken of the sociocultural characteristics and economic conditions of each country and, where children are involved, of the age of the child.

Legal measures and law enforcement

24. Preventive legislation aimed at protecting children should be promulgated, strengthened and better enforced. Police, courts and treatment and support systems should focus on the welfare and protection of children. Legal aid should be made available to those who claim to have been sexually violated and to parents or legal guardians in cases of trafficking in and sale of children. Methods should be developed to obtain evidence from the child without further traumatization, and witnesses should be afforded protection.

25. Trafficking in, sale or sexual exploitation of children are serious crimes and must be treated as such. Efforts should be made to detect, arrest and convict clients, consumers, procurers, intermediaries and accomplices, and provision made for sanctions which take into account the grave nature of these offences.

26. Effective legislative and enforcement measures must also be directed against the intermediaries and others who encourage and make profits from the trafficking in, sale and sexual exploitation of children, such as agents, dealers, brothel-owners, policemen, and others involved. The proceeds from such activities should be seized and confiscated.

27. The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides protection against trafficking in, sale and sexual exploitation of children. States are encouraged to become parties to the Convention at the earliest possible date. For its implementation within States, national institutions composed of representatives of public agencies, non-governmental organizations and associations should be established to coordinate action and to protect children and their rights.

28. States are urged to become parties to the International Labour Organisation conventions pertaining to the employment of children, in particular the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), and effectively to enforce laws which prohibit the employment of children in work likely to endanger their morals and physical health.

29. States are urged to ratify and effectively implement the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956, and the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of 1949, and, furthermore, to submit reports regularly to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on their implementation.

30. States are urged to take all necessary measures to ensure that persons involved in trafficking in, sale or sexual exploitation of children are punished or extradited to other countries.

31. States should keep under review all new forms of technology which could be used for trafficking in, sale or sexual exploitation of children, and adopt appropriate legislation.

Social measures and development assistance

32. These abuses are often linked with poverty. Their prevention and elimination requires long-range structural reforms in the social and economic fields. In the short term, development activities of United Nations agencies, especially the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and of other international and national agencies should have a substantive and positive impact on children and promote appropriate development strategies and policies. Priority should be given to formulating a family policy to prevent abuse and to policies aimed at improving the social, economic and working conditions of girls and women in general, and of the poorest girls and women in particular. Local community-based projects, including collective self-help projects should also be encouraged.

33. The needs of children who have been victims of trafficking, sale or sexual exploitation should be taken into account in development plans and assistance. Special attention should be given to certain groups of children at risk, for example, street children, teenage single mothers, children of broken homes or those whose mothers are in prostitution and other children in especially difficult circumstances. Governments, specialized agencies, United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations should be encouraged to initiate projects designed to protect street children from sexual abuse (mobile units to offer social and medical aid, small-scale enterprise projects for children, "safe houses", emergency centres, etc.). Efforts should be made to reunite street children in cities with their families in rural areas and in general to improve the social, economic and working conditions of parents whose children are victims of sexual exploitation or are at high risk.

Rehabilitation and reintegration

34. Rehabilitation and reintegration programmes using an interdisciplinary approach should be established to assist children who have been victims of trafficking, sale or sexual exploitation and their families. Agencies implementing such programmes, whether public or non-governmental, should be established, or strengthened by being provided with the necessary support and funding. They should be encouraged to request technical assistance, evaluational assistance, information on new methods of self-funding schemes, etc., from United Nations bodies and from public or private, national or international sources with relevant competence.

International coordination

35. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation among law enforcement agencies is essential. States should establish their own data bases, improve their reporting at all levels, exchange information and report to the International Criminal Police Organization to enable a special data bank on suspects involved in cross-border trafficking, sale or sexual exploitation of children to be set up. The experience gained in international police cooperation in combating drug traffic should be used to prevent international traffic in and sexual exploitation of children.

36. A special intergovernmental task force should be set up at the regional level to assist Governments in devising ways and means of checking the phenomena of the trafficking in, sale and sexual exploitation of children; national level commissions should plan new measures to address these problems in cooperation with concerned non-governmental organizations.

Trafficking in and sale of children

37. The measures mentioned in the following paragraphs specific to the trafficking in and sale of children are required.

38. States should take effective legal and administrative measures to prevent the abduction and sale of children for whatever purpose (sexual exploitation, any form of labour, adoption, criminal activities, trafficking in organs, etc.). Laws should be adopted or strengthened which impose penalties on parents and on all others knowingly involved in the trafficking in and sale of children.

39. States should pay special attention to preventing and severely punishing any case of sale, abduction or traffic of children for transplantation of organs, particularly from developing to developed countries. They should cooperate with each other and with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to these ends.

40. States should adopt urgent and effective procedures at the national level and through bilateral and international cooperation to find abducted, unlawfully removed or disappeared children and to trace families and reunite such children with their families. In this regard, special attention should be given to the situation of refugee children and their need for protection from trafficking, sale and sexual exploitation.

41. Measures should be taken to ensure that international adoptions do not involve the sale of children by their parents or their illicit removal. Procedures for this purpose should be based on the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally of 1986, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under no circumstances must adoption be allowed to involve financial gain for any of the parties involved. The commercialization of adoption procedures should be prohibited.

42. Inter-country adoptions, where permitted by national law, should only take place through competent, professional and authorized agencies in both the country of origin and the receiving country of the children.

43. The procedures for child birth registration, renunciation of parental rights and consent to adoption by a parent should be strictly regulated by law and adequate counselling offered to the biological parents.

44. Governmental and non-governmental bodies should cooperate at the national and international levels in order to promote and develop local and national alternatives to inter-country adoptions, such as child care facilities, including day care and other support services for parents, care by relatives, foster family care and domestic adoptions. Special efforts should be made to ensure that parents are not incited to part with their children for socio-economic reasons.

Child prostitution

45. The measures mentioned in the following paragraphs specific to child prostitution, independently of whether the clients are locals or foreigners should be taken.

46. Incest and sexual abuse within the family or by the child's employers may lead to child prostitution. States therefore should take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children against all forms of abuse while in the care of parents, family or legal guardians or any other person.

47. Special attention should be paid to the problem of sex tourism. Legislative and other measures should be taken to prevent and combat sex tourism, both in the countries from which the customers come and those to which they go. Marketing tourism through the enticement of sex with children should be penalized on the same level as procurement.

48. The World Tourism Organization should be encouraged to convene an expert meeting designed to offer practical measures to combat sex tourism.

49. States with military bases or troops, stationed on foreign territory or not, should take all the necessary measures to prevent such military personnel from being involved in child prostitution. The same applies to other categories of public servants who for professional reasons are posted abroad.

50. Legislation should be adopted to prevent new forms of technology from being used for soliciting for child prostitution.

Child pornography

51. The measures mentioned in the following paragraphs specific to child pornography are required.

52. Law enforcement agencies, and social and other services should place a higher priority on the investigation of child pornography in order to prevent and eliminate any exploitation of children.

53. States that have not yet done so are urged to enact legislation making it a crime to produce, distribute or possess pornographic material involving children.

54. Where required, new legislation and penalties should be introduced for the mass media which broadcast or publish material threatening the psychic or moral integrity of children or containing unhealthy or pornographic descriptions and to prevent new technology being used to produce pornography, including video films and pornographic computer games.

55. States should be encouraged to protect children from exposure to adult pornography, especially through new forms of technology, by adopting suitable legislation and appropriate measures of control.

56. States should encourage the mass media and the journalistic profession to adopt codes of practice governing the publication of material, including advertising, with pornographic overtones, and should remind them of their responsibility in influencing public attitudes.

Follow-up

57. States are invited to consider this Programme of Action in relation to the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s (See E/CN.4/1991/59, annex) and to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

58. States are further invited to inform the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities periodically on measures taken to implement the Programme of Action, whether or not they are parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

59. United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations are invited to examine the application of the above Programme of Action as appropriate to their mandates.

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