August 9, 2012
ATLANTA – In June, Professor Jonathan Todres participated in a five-person delegation of non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives from the United States that presented testimony to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on U.S. efforts to combat the sale and commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The Pre-Session Working Group meeting of the Committee provided NGOs an opportunity to present findings and recommendations related to the U.S. government's implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Although the United States has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is a party to the Optional Protocol. Under the Optional Protocol, the U.S. government reports periodically to the Committee on its progress in combating the sale and commercial sexual exploitation of children.
After the session, the Committee sent follow-up questions to the U.S. government, and in January it will meet formally with U.S. government officials. The Committee will publish its final recommendations, which can be used then to further strengthen U.S. law and policy aimed at protecting children. "The review process is a collaborative endeavor between the Committee and a government with input from NGOs," explained Todres, "It provides a regular opportunity to assess progress and identify gaps in law, policy and programs aimed at ensuring children’s rights and protecting them from exploitation."
Todres, who also serves as Child Rights Advisor to ECPAT-USA (Ending Child Prostitution and Trafficking), participated in the drafting of the NGO Alternative Report submitted by ECPAT-USA to the Committee on behalf of more than 60 non-governmental organizations in the United States
To read the report, visit http://ecpatusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Alt-Report-USA-2012-Final-with-submitting-orgs-2-19-2012.pdf.
Stacie P. Kershner, JD
Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society