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Sale and exploitation of children: UN rights expert launches visit to Lao PDR

​Laotian

GENEVA (3 November 2017) – A United Nations human rights expert will carry out an official visit to Lao PDR from 8 to 16 November to assess the extent of child exploitation in the country and reach out to young victims.

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, said: “I appreciate the invitation of the Government of Lao PDR to help them promote and protect the rights of children. During my visit, I will evaluate the risks and forms of exploitation of children in the country, as well as the measures already adopted to fight the problem, and the challenges that remain.”

“I will reach out to child victims of abuse, violence and exploitation, and to children in vulnerable situations, such as migrant children, those from minorities, and children placed in institutions, to take their opinions into account in my recommendations to the Government and other concerned parties,” said Ms de Boer-Buquicchio.

The Special Rapporteur, whose mission is at the invitation of the Government, will visit a number of childcare and rehabilitation centres, and shelters for victims.

During her nine-day visit, Ms de Boer-Buquicchio will travel to the capital, Vientiane, and the provinces of Oudomxay, Champasak and Salavan. She will meet representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, provincial and local authorities, representatives of non-profit associations and international NGOs, the private sector and members of the international community.

At the end of her visit, on Thursday 16 November 2017, Ms de Boer-Buquicchio will share her preliminary observations with the media at a press conference at the UN House, Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane, at 14:00 local time. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

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

ENDS

Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (Netherlands) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2014 and her mandate was renewed in March 2017. 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.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the 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 - Lao

For additional information before and during the visit please contact: Nekane Lavín (+41 22 917 9402 / nlavin@ohchr.org) or write to srsaleofchildren@ohchr.org

For inquiries regarding the press conference please contact: Ildiko Hamos-Sohlo –
UN in Lao PDR (+856 20 7717 7913 / ildiko.hamos@one.un.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Bryan Wilson – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9826 / mediaconsultant2@ohchr.org

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