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HRC – Explanation of Position on Rights of the Child
March 26, 2010

Human Rights Council – Archive Photo

United States Government
Human Rights Council, 13th Session, Geneva
Friday, March 26, 2010

The United States is pleased to have joined consensus on the Rights of the Child resolution. Our decision reflects our deep commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of children in our own country and around the world, and, in particular, to protecting children from sexual violence.

As a party to the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child pornography, and child prostitution, we are deeply committed to combating sexual violence against children. We recently submitted our periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on our implementation of this Optional Protocol; our reports details our efforts in all the areas addressed by the OP as well as in areas of concern highlighted in the resolution. For example, our periodic report highlights U.S. legislation designed to prevent and punish sexual violence against children as well as assistance programs offered in this regard and efforts to reduce demand in regards to practices such as sex tourism.

The United States has continued to strengthen protections for children in this area and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008 contains many provisions protecting children from severe forms of trafficking in persons. The United States is also committed to combating serious child exploitation issues such as child pornography and child labor. We join consensus on this resolution today with the express understanding that it does not imply that States must become parties to instruments to which they are not a party nor that they must implement obligations under human rights instruments they are not a party to. By joining this resolution, we do not recognize any change in the current state of treaty or customary international law.

We thank the chairs for their collaborative approach and exemplary skill in forging consensus. We thank the co-sponsors of this resolution for their flexibility. We hope to continue working with them with regard to PP1 and OP14 and hope to be able to cosponsor this important resolution in the future.

We look forward to continuing to work with others bilaterally and multilaterally to protect children from sexual violence.