Three countries commit to ratification of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
New York 16 May 2011 - Representatives of Finland, Mauritius and Pakistan announced their countries' intention to ratify the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in the near future. The announcements were made during an event held at UN headquarters today to commemorate the first anniversary of the campaign for universal ratification of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) and on the involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC).
The initiative was organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on Violence against Children, the Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF, the OHCHR and the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations. The event reflected on achievements at the campaign’s mid-point and on ways to accelerate progress towards universal ratification of the Protocols by 2012.
"The campaign has created a unique momentum; universal ratification of the Protocols is within reach!" , said Marta Santos Pais, SRSG on Violence against Children. She noted that the large majority of the states that have not yet ratified the Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography are parties to other international treaties which address areas covered by the Protocol, such as the ILO Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Palermo Protocol on Traficking in Persons.
The event included a lively discussion during which representatives from governments, parliamentarians and civil society shared experiences and lessons learned about the ratification process and the implementation of the Protocols. To date, 143 countries have ratified the OPSC while 140 have ratified the OPAC.
With developments achieved so far, it is expected that, by next September, when the UN Treaty Event will be held, at the time of the General Assembly debate, the number of States Parties will significantly grow.