7 March 2013
Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
Full text of the statement:
Madam Special Representative, under item 10 you underline that the protection of children from violence is a fundamental human right. This especially concerns the children of Iraq, where due to war and occupation around 3.5 million children are living in poverty, 500.000 orphans live in the streets and school dropout rates have dramatically increased, which makes children extremely vulnerable to violence. Around 11 percent of Iraqi children under 14 have to work in order to support their families and many of these children have fallen into the hands of traffickers and drug dealers. UNICEF reports prove the dramatical increase of drug abuse, which was practically non-existent prior to the US invasion.
Madam Special Representative, Madam Special Rapporteur both reports rightly show that the rights to be free from violence and sexual exploitation are indivisibly interlinked and that a strong national normative framework is vital to respond to violence and protect children. Over the past ten years tens of thousands of girls in Iraq have been trafficked and statistics show that 65 % among prostituted females are minor girls, a problem which did not exist prior to 2003. Still until today there is no prosecution of criminals engaged in human trafficking and negligible support for the victims. The current situation in Iraq is the result of foreign intervention and the international community must assume its responsibility.
Madam Special Rapporteur, in your report you have mentioned a number of country visits, as well as outstanding requests to other countries. The situation in Iraq has been deteriorating for more than ten years now and will further deteriorate if the international Community does not react. We therefore call on you to urgently request a visit to Iraq.
Madam Special Representative, your report underlines that harmful practices compromise the development and education of children, have serious and long-lasting consequences. This has proven to be bitter reality in Iraq. We therefore urge you to take the situation of Iraq into account in your future reports. We also call on the United Nations to investigate the human rights violations since 2003 through an UN Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iraq.
7 March 2013