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Sale and sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert launches official visit to Armenia

GENEVA (7 May 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio will conduct an official visit to Armenia from 12 to 18 May 2015 to assess the situation of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in the country.

“I look forward to assessing the progress made and challenges faced by Armenia against the sale and sexual exploitation of children in all its forms,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to promote comprehensive strategies to prevent and combat the sale and sexual exploitation of children, and to make recommendations for the rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims.

“I will reach out to child victims and children in vulnerable situations to take their opinions into account in my recommendations to the Government and other concerned parties,” said Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government.

During her seven-day mission, the human rights expert will meet with representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches at the national and local level. She will also meet with members of civil society and NGOs who work on child protection issues, and visit child care centres and shelters in Yerevan, Vanadzor and Gyumri.

At the end of her visit, on Monday 18 May 2015, Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio will share with the media her preliminary observations and recommendations at a press conference which will be held at the Conference Hall of the UN Office in Armenia, Petros Adamyan Street, 14 Yerevan, at 12:00 am. Access to the press conference will be limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (Netherlands) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2014. She served as Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe between 2002 and 2012. Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio spearheaded the adoption of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. She is the President of the European Federation for Missing and Exploited Children. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Children/Pages/ChildrenIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization, and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Armenia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/AMIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact the Media Unit of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Armenia / UNICEF Armenia Communication Officer, Zara Sargsyan: zsargsyan@unicef.org / +37477232169 or Nekane Lavín (nlavin@ohchr.org) or write to srsaleofchildren@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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