Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council 16th Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with SRSG on Violence against Children and Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Australian Statement
8 March 2011

Australia welcomes the report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on violence against children and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Such extreme forms of child exploitation and abuse are abhorrent and unconscionable.
We strongly support the universal ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

We also recognise the excellent work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF in this area.

Australia remains firmly committed to ensuring the protection of all children from egregious human rights abuses.

If we, as an international community, are to create a better future for our children, a future where children’s rights are respected and where children are encouraged to reach their fullest potential, we must intensify our efforts in working with each other as Member States, hand-in-hand with civil society.

The Australian Government is deeply committed to the protection of children and young people. The Government has worked with civil society and other interested stakeholders to develop the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 - a long term approach to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Australian children.

One of the priorities of Australia’s National Framework is to improve responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation. Action in this area includes research and training; documenting good practices; addressing gaps in service delivery; and overcoming existing challenges across the child protection sector.

Australia is interested in learning from the SRSG and the Special Rapporteur about the most effective measures that other nations have applied in this area.

We are also interested in the SRSG’s and the Special Rapporteur’s views on how, at an international level, we can collectively better combat extreme forms of child abuse and exploitation.

We are particularly interested in good examples of international and intra-state coordination between law enforcement officials, welfare agencies and communities.

We would like to ask the Rapporteurs whether they have any best practice examples of community action to combat child abuse and exploitation.