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Child protection is of paramount importance to the United States
March 6, 2013

Clustered ID with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of Children

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council 22nd Session

March 6, 2013

Thank you, Mr. President.

We thank the SRSG on Violence against Children and the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, child prostitution and child pornography for their work in producing these reports.

Child protection is of paramount importance to the United States, and we believe the work of the SRSG is beneficial to strengthening efforts to prevent and respond to violence against children internationally.

The United States is committed to ensuring that the protection of children is fully integrated into our domestic and foreign policy agendas.

We reviewed the Special Representative’s report and agree that raising awareness, building capacity, and increasing coordination among child protection actors are of vital importance.   Consolidating sound data and sharing new research on ways to address school violence, something about which we in the United States are profoundly concerned is an essential component to addressing and eradicating violence against children.

We thank Special Rapporteur Maalla M’jid for her report and her continued efforts to protect children against all forms of abuse and exploitation.  This year’s report deals with the disturbing issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.

The United States is deeply concerned about the commercial sexual exploitation of minors through child sex tourism, and has thus sought to address this through strong penalties against the perpetrators, prevention programs, dissemination of information on penalties and how to report such violations, international cooperation, and assistance to the victims.  U.S. law enforcement agencies work to identify and apprehend those who engage in child sex tourism by detecting and apprehending offenders before they leave the United States.  We also cooperate with foreign law enforcement counterparts, U.S. Embassies, and non-governmental organizations to bring the perpetrators to justice if they are overseas.  Between October 2010 and August 2012, the United States prosecuted child sex tourism cases in which 382 perpetrators were found guilty.

In some cases investigated by U.S. federal law enforcement, NGOs have played an integral part in both identifying the perpetrator and victims.  In some of these cases the victims have been referred to the NGOs who assisted with the investigation.  That approach has proven to be a good practice since it was a natural and effective way to offer victims immediate assistance.

Some victims identified in child sex tourism cases have petitioned for restitution and have been awarded it by a judge.

More can and needs to be done to protect vulnerable children, and we commend SRSG Pais and SR Maalla for their tireless efforts to mobilize the international community.