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Australia signs Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER AND THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL DARYL WILLIAMS

FA191` 24 December 2001

AUSTRALIA SIGNS PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Australia has signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Australia’s Ambassador the United Nations in New York signed the Optional Protocol for Australia in a signing ceremony in New York on 18 December 2001.

The Optional Protocol was developed to protect children from the worst forms of commercial exploitation. Once ratified, it will require countries to ensure that the sale of a child for sexual exploitation is prohibited by its criminal law. It will also outlaw the transfer of organs from children for profit, the sale of children for forced labour and for certain adoptions, child prostitution and child pornography.

In line with the Government’s consultative approach on international instruments, the views of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the States and Territories will be sought prior to consideration of ratification of the Optional Protocol.

Signature of the Optional Protocol coincided with the Second World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, being held in Yokohama, Japan. The Congress is a collection of national delegations and non-government organisations that explore collaborative measures to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children and was attended by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.

Australia’s signature of the Optional Protocol and its participation the World Congress reflects the Government’s belief that protection of our children must remain high on the international agenda.

Media inquiries: Phillip Allars (Mr Downer’s office) 02 6277 7500 / 0407 710 359 Catherine Fitzpatrick (Mr William’s office) 02 6277 7300 / 0419 423 965