3rd WORLD CONGRESS ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Children and Adolescents Closing Statement
28 November 2008
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We the children of the world commend the Government of Brazil and the other governments and responsible agencies for giving us the children, the present and future of the world, a voice at this Third World Congress.
The children have suffered too much from adult exploitation. But, organized and united, we have gone from being victims to actors. Our children’s organizations give us the strength to defend ourselves and fight for our rights.
We are here to contribute to the process of fighting this issue and raising awareness about this problem that continues to grow larger.
However, it is not enough to just give us a voice but you MUST listen. Listen to our calls for urgent action, listen to our experiences and most importantly listen to our solutions.
The work we have begun here must not end here today when the congress rooms become empty and the heated discussions here in Rio de Janeiro become silent. We must not allow the discussion of Children’s Rights particularly in the matter of sexual Exploitation to ever go silent again but we must evoke calls of change throughout the world like we have never done before.
Now, we need governments, NGOs, media, private sector, local authority, and many more children to join us in fight against child sexual exploitation and help high-risk children and victims.
We the children of the world ask of ourselves and similarly of you to share presentations of the proceedings of this conference with your communities, your nations and regions to perpetuate this message further.
If we are to make the pervasive and repugnant problem of sexual exploitation of children a relic of history once and for all, you the Government, the NGOs, and other social partners MUST:
1. Create the office of ombudsman with regards to Children’s Rights in each country to ensure the full and effective implementation of children’s rights, reform in all sectors to promote a more child-friendly service, and efficient prevention, monitoring and handling of cases of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
2. Establish Child Protection Agencies and Centres in local communities throughout the world funded by UNICEF, other international and local groups to protect those that remain vulnerable to this cancerous problem.
3. Furthermore, a Children’s forum and organisation lead by children and for children needs to be established to ensure child and adolescent participation to prevent sexual exploitation.
4. We also ask that each major governmental agency and International organization dealing with Children’s rights should have a Children’s Ambassador.
5. Pursuant to this Congress, we ask for national and regional consultations to internalize and adapt the decisions of the Congress to fit our varying cultural realities within 6 months. Again, we ask that the Governments of the World to engage us the children and listen to our voices.
6. Additionally, every 6 months to a year, we wish to continue these consultations to discuss matters related to sexual exploitation of children and children’s rights in general to promote the institutionalisation of child participation. Arising from these consultations, regional reports should be submitted to UNICEF to form the International Report which will then be disseminated throughout the world.
7. We are at this moment calling for governmental actions to effectuate laws and policies that redound to the benefit, protection and well-being of children both on the local and international level. However, it is simply not enough to allow governments to make empty promises to curb this attack on children. Consequently, we the children, ask that action committees be created to audit the action plans in each country.
8. We also call for the adoption of an International Day where children will lead the effort in awareness raising campaigns, rallies and marches. To further enlarge the scope of this day, we request the organization of an International Art, Essay and Speech competition which will culminate on this day.
9. We now turn our attention to the media particularly the internet which poses one of the greatest threats to millions of children throughout the world.
Stop X. org has emerged from this conference a great resource in the combat against Sexual Exploitation. Henceforth, we ask that the webpage list the agenda of all the activities and conclusions of the World Congress, provide a forum to post documents and closely monitor the development of our work and most importantly to continue discussion on this topic and the development of ideas.
10. We the children must make known our plight for governments to pursue strict and punitive legislation with regards to the Internet, especially Child pornography- simply another form of abuse.
11. We similarly ask for strong cyber safety Rules which are well propagated on both the websites and within the Communities. To this end we call for the increased development of children’s, teachers, parent’s and family manuals which address the threats of the internet in addition to providing supplemental information about Sexual Exploitation of Children.
12. Further, we provide a mandate for the media to gather documents, reports, folders, CDs, videos and other materials to increase knowledge on this issue.
We the children of the world pledge to vehemently and passionately pursue these policies and to call our governments to action if we do not see positive steps being taken to end this phenomenon that continues to scourge the world today.
The children and adolescents of the world ask all the event participants to remember when you adults were our age, in our developmental stages so that it will be easier to touch the hearts of the people and thus all reflect on and ratify our commitment to fight together, crossing frontiers to eradicate this world problem that interrupts the happy and harmonious development during childhood and adolescence throughout the world.
We children and adolescents throughout the world hereby ratify that by this conclusive document we are expressing what we feel, think and want to achieve to win the war against child sexual exploitation because, as already mentioned in the opening document, THE DECISION IS IN OUR HANDS.
Without a doubt, the greatest challenge that we will face as of the closing of this 3rd World Congress will be the multiplying effect.
We are convinced that all human beings are not the result of chance but that we have to realize our goal which is to bring in our lifetime through our realities and experiences to that they leave footprints. If I leave my children the same world as the one my parents left me, my existence will have been in vain, however, if my existence enriches my successors, my existence will have been justified.
Today, we are all making history because by simply participating in this important world event demonstrates our commitment to contribute our grain of sand to make our world a better place.
Since the first congress up to the third congress, a greater social conscience was created about this world problem, but we believe that we need to act more and talk less, since more than a decade has gone by since we began before we saw the results of the proposals and commitments by which many of the decisions where made by the authorities of each country, to them we say the following:
We are together with the government, society, NGOs, international organizations and with all those who have the commitment to combat sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Uniting the creativity of children, the participation of adolescents and young people with the experience of adults, we can transform our view in one cry of STOP sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.