Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child on thesale of children, child prostitution and child pornography


The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography is a legally binding international treaty. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on May 25, 2000, and entered into force on January 18, 2002. The protocol aims to protect children from various forms of exploitation, including their sale, prostitution, and involvement in pornography.

Key provisions of the Optional Protocol include:

  1. Prohibition of the sale of children: The protocol criminalizes the sale of children, defined as any act where a child is transferred by any means of exchange for money, goods, or other benefits.
  2. Prohibition of child prostitution: The protocol considers the involvement of children in prostitution as a criminal offense. It requires countries to take appropriate measures to prevent and punish the exploitation of children in prostitution.
  3. Prohibition of child pornography: The protocol obligates states to criminalize the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. It also requires countries to provide assistance to victims and promote international cooperation in combating child pornography.
  4. Protection and support for child victims: The protocol emphasizes the importance of providing appropriate support and assistance to child victims, including their physical and psychological recovery, social reintegration, and access to justice.
  5. Prevention and awareness-raising: The protocol encourages states to take measures to prevent the offenses covered by the protocol, including through education and awareness campaigns.
  6. International cooperation: The protocol calls for international cooperation among states to effectively address the offenses covered by the protocol. It includes provisions for extradition, mutual legal assistance, and the exchange of information.

It is important to note that the Optional Protocol is a separate treaty from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but it complements and strengthens the protections provided by the convention. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Optional Protocol has been ratified by 177 countries.

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