The Pan Ameexplotacion_sexual_NNArican Congress meets every five years and promotes the sharing of experience and knowledge in specialized subjects among the member states of the Inter-American System, in order to establish a regional agenda for the development of the promotion and protection of children in the Americas and the Caribbean.

    Among the subjects to be addressed by the most senior authorities in child-related issues in the region during the forthcoming Congress is the sexual exploitation of children.

    The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC 1989) recognizes the right of children to be protected from any form of economic exploitation and from performing any kind of work that is likely to be harmful to their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development (Art. 32).

    Among these forms of exploitation, the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) is paradigmatic. SEC is one of the most flagrant violations of children’s rights, to the point that its existence brings into question the very dignity of our societies.

    On 27 July 2007 – CD/RES. 10 (82-R/07), the Directing Council of the IIN established the Inter-American Programme for the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Exploitation and Smuggling of and Trafficking in Minors. This Programme, in its three areas, develops a number of activities in constant communication with the States of the Inter-American System. It compiles and systematizes international and regional production on the issue, produces knowledge and instruments, and improves the capacity of the States by means of its technical assistance and by training human resources. The IIN continues to work on this programme.

    In 2008, our region hosted the Third World Congress, held in Brazil, from which emerged the “Rio Call for Action”, containing a number of proposals and commitments made by the States, which, despite the time that has elapsed, are still current.

    Over the last decade, significant progress has been made: SEC has been included on the political agendas of the region, most States have national multistakeholder commissions to plan coordinated action and national plans have been produced in accordance with international guidelines. Regulatory frameworks and operational instruments (protocols, handbooks and guides) have also been updated and awareness-raising activities have been carried out.

    In view of the currency of this important issue and further to the Inter-American Programme for the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Exploitation and Smuggling of and Trafficking in Minors, the IIN-OAS has included this subject among the lines to be addressed at the 21st Pan American Child Congress.

    For more information about this topic: See www.annaobserva.org