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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Kiribati
January 19, 2015

21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

January 19, 2015

The United States warmly welcomes the Kiribati delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We acknowledge Kiribati’s stated commitment to promoting human rights and to strengthening laws protecting the rights of all of its citizens, including women and children.

We recognize that Kiribati has made some advances in its efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by passing the Children, Young People, and Family Welfare Act, and we welcome Kiribati’s efforts to address human rights abuses in Kiribati’s vast territory.

Additional government efforts are needed to raise awareness and enforce this law as allegations of commercial sexual exploitation of children remain.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Kiribati:

  1. Actively conduct education and awareness campaigns on the issue of child prostitution in Kiribati, particularly in well-known meeting places of foreign crew members. These campaigns should make clear that under Kiribati law, the crime of sex trafficking includes subjecting a child to prostitution even in the absence of transnational movement or the use of force or coercion.
  2. Adopt a list of hazardous work activities prohibited for children, and better enforce existing laws to fully protect children from the worst forms of child labor and all forms of sexual exploitation.
  3. Establish formal procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and refer them to protective services.

(end statement)