THE YOKOHAMA GLOBAL COMMITMENT 2001
The following is the "Yokohama Global Commitment 2001", to be adopted at the closing session on 20 December, and was introduced at the Plenary at 11:15 AM, 19 December.
I. Our Follow-Up:
1.We, representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and members of civil society from around the world, have gathered together in Yokohama, Japan, at the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (17-20 December 2001) ("The Yokohama Congress"). Five years after the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996, we have reviewed developments as a follow-up process to strengthen our commitment to protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
2.We reaffirm, as our primary considerations, the protection and promotion of the interests and rights of the child to be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation, and we welcome the following developments, visible in a number of countries, since the First World Congress:
- the greater emphasis on the rights of the child and the call for more effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by State Parties to create an environment where children are able to enjoy their rights ;
- the increasing mobilization of governments, local authorities and the non-governmental sector, as well as the international community, to promote and protect the rights of the child and to empower children and their families to safeguard their future;
- the adoption of multi-faceted, inter-disciplinary measures , including policies, laws, programmes, mechanisms , resources and dissemination of the rights of the child, to ensure that children are able to grow up in safety and dignity;
- enhanced actions against child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes, including national and international agendas, strategies or plans of action to protect children from sexual exploitation, and new laws to criminalize this phenomenon, including provisions with extra-territorial effect;
- the promotion of more effective implementation/enforcement of policies, laws and gender-sensitive programmes to prevent and address the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children, including information campaigns to raise awareness, better educational access for children, social support measures for families and children to counter poverty, action against criminality and the demand for sexual exploitation of children, and prosecution of those who exploit children;
- the provision of child-sensitive facilities such as telephone helplines, shelters, and judicial and administrative procedures to prevent violations of the rights of the child and to provide effective remedies;
- the comprehensive, systematic and sustained involvement of the private sector, such as workers' and employers' organizations, members of the travel and tourism industry, the communications industry, including Internet service providers, and other businesses, in enhancing child protection, including their adoption and implementation of corporate policies and Codes of Conduct to protect children from sexual exploitation ;
- greater participation by children and young people in promoting and protecting their rights, notably through young people's networks and forums and the involvement of young people as peer communicators and counselors;
- the development of international and regional standards to protect children from sexual exploitation through new instruments, including the following: the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000); and the Convention on Cybercrime (2001), while noting relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998);
- the entry into force of the International Labour Organization (ILO)'s Convention No.182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (complemented by ILO Recommendation No.190) on 19 November 2000, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography on 18 January 2002;
- the progress made in the preparations for the forthcoming Special Session of the General Assembly on Children, including its outcome document;
- the emergence of a broader partnership among and between local and national governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, regional/sub-regional and international organizations, communities, and other key actors, and closer linkage between the United Nations and other monitoring mechanisms on the issue, especially the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography of the Commission on Human Rights under the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
3. We take into account with appreciation the regional consultations held in Bangkok, Thailand; Rabat, Morocco; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Montevideo, Uruguay; Budapest, Hungary; and Philadelphia, United States of America (see Annex); and various national seminars leading up to the Yokohama Congress, and related activities, including those with young people's participation, and their conclusions and recommendations enriching the content of our follow-up action, and we encourage their effective implementation by governments that have participated in them in partnership with all stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and young people.
4.We recognize that much more needs to be done to protect children globally and express our concerns at the delays in the adoption of needed measures in various parts of the world.
II. Our Global Commitment:
5.We have come together to:
- reiterate the importance and the call for more effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by State parties and related instruments, and underline our belief in the rights of children to be protected from commercial sexual exploitation in the form of child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes;
- encourage early ratification of the relevant international instruments, in particular, ILO Convention No.182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography;
- reaffirm our commitment to build a culture of respect for all persons based upon the principle of non-discrimination and to eliminate commercial sexual exploitation of children, in particular by sharing the lessons learnt since the First World Congress, and by improving cooperation in this regard;
- recommit to the Declaration and Agenda for Action of the First World Congress ("The Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action"), and in particular to developing national agendas, strategies or plans of action, designated focal points and comprehensive gender-disaggregated data collection, and effective implementation of measures, including child-rights based laws and law enforcement;
- reinforce our efforts against commercial sexual exploitation of children, in particular by addressing root causes that put children at risk of exploitation, such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, persecution, violence, armed conflicts, HIV/AIDS, dysfunctioning families, the demand factor, criminality, and violations of the rights of the child, through comprehensive measures, including improved educational access for children, especially girls, anti-poverty programmes, social support measures, public awareness-raising, physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims, and action to criminalize the commercial sexual exploitation of children in all its forms and in accordance with the relevant international instruments, while not criminalizing or penalizing the child victims;
- emphasize that the way forward is to promote closer networking among key actors to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children at the international, inter-regional, regional/sub-regional, bilateral, national and local levels, in particular, among communities and the judicial, immigration and police authorities, as well as through initiatives interlinking the young people themselves;
- ensure adequate resource allocation to counter commercial sexual exploitation of children, and to promote education and information to protect children from sexual exploitation, including educational and training programmes on the rights of the child addressed to children, parents, law enforcers, service providers and other key actors;
- reiterate that an essential way of sustaining global action is through regional/sub-regional and national agendas, strategies or plans of action that build on regional/sub-regional and national monitoring mechanisms and through strengthening and reviewing existing international mechanisms with a monitoring process, to improve their effectiveness as well as the follow-up of their recommendations, and to identify any reforms that may be required;
- take adequate measures to address negative aspects of new technologies, in particular, child pornography on the Internet, while recognizing the potential of new technologies for the protection of children from the commercial sexual exploitation, through dissemination and exchange of information and networking among partners;
- reaffirm the importance of the family and strengthen social protection of children, young people and families through awareness-raising campaigns and community-based surveillance/monitoring of commercial sexual exploitation of children;
- commit ourselves to promoting cooperation at all levels and to combining efforts to eliminate all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children worldwide;
- declare that the sexual exploitation of children must not be tolerated and pledge to act accordingly.
Appendix: Explanatory Statements
The following documents were submitted to the Chair at the conclusion of the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
- Regional Commitment and Action Plan of the East Asia and Pacific Region against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, adopted at the East Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation for the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Bangkok, 16-18 October 2001
- Declaration of the Arab-African Forum against Sexual Exploitation of Children, adopted at the Arab-African Forum against Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Rabat, 24-26 October 2001
- South Asia Strategy, adopted at the South Asia Consultation for the 2nd World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Dhaka, 4-6 November 2001
- Commitment to a Strategy against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Other Forms of Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents in the Latin American-Caribbean Region, adopted at the Interamerican Congress against Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Montevideo, 7-9 November 2001
- Commitment and Plan of Action for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Europe and Central Asia, adopted at the Conference on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation, held in Budapest, 20-21 November 2001
- Suggestions from North American Regional Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Philadelphia, 2-3 December 2001Declaration and Agenda for Action, adopted at the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Stockholm, 27- 31 August 1996
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