United Nations Human Rights Council Event on Child Exploitation by Ariel Foundation International

WASHINGTON - March 11, 2014 - PRLog -- On the occasion of The United Nations 25th Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland a side event on Child Exploitation – Creative Prevention, Advocacy and Healing” organized by Dr. Ariel King, a children’s and youth human rights advocate who is President of the Ariana-Leilani Children’s Foundation International (USA), President of the Ariel Foundation International (Switzerland), and ECOSOC Permanent Representative for Les Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut (CFAH). The wide range of participants included UN representatives, Government representatives, NGO representatives, children’s human right defenders, academics, and other interested parties.

The Human Rights Council affirmed “its commitment to effectively integrate the rights of the child in its work taking into account specific needs of boys and girls”. It also decided “to incorporate into its programme to discuss different specific themes on the rights of the child, including the identification of challenges in the realization of the rights of the child, as well as measures and best practices that can be adopted by States and other stakeholders."

Child Exploitation, trafficking of children or the sale of children is a form of human traffikcing and is defined as the "recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt" of a child for the purpose of exploitation that affects disproportionally  the girl child that includes bride buying, debt bondage, child labour, human trafficking, child sexual slavery, and penal labour.

Statistics on the magnitude of child exploitation and child trafficking are difficult to obtain, the International Labour Organization estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. The trafficking of children has been internationally recognized as a major human rights violation, one that exists in every region of the world. Yet, it is only within the past decade that the prevalence and ramifications of this practice have risen to international prominence, due to a dramatic increase in public action.

The millions of children worldwide who are exploited, can be understood when looking at the individual lives of children affected. Three stories of  child trafficking by those directly affected by it brings its life reality to lights.

First story (child sex trafficking), Ten year old Ariana-Leilani Margarita Alexandra King-Pfeiffer, called "the Little Ambassador", is a dual USA-German citizen who is named after the United Nations grounds and Museum in Geneva ( The Ariana) once ran the halls of the UN in Geneva and New York, travelled to over 10 countries, met with historical figures, as Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Queen Noor and President Bush, and the Queen Mother of Swaziland, is one of millions of children sexually exploited. Ariana-Leilani is still waiting for rescue from five years child sex trafficking in Washington, DC as revealed by her mother, Dr. Ariel King for the first time publically during the side event. The Special Rapporteur, Najat M’jit Maalla, (2008 – March 2014) on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, sent an urgent communication about the severe human rights abuses of  Ariana-Leilani to the United States of America government in 2010, and reported in the Communication with Governments Report (A/HRC16/ Add1 ) at the UN General Assembly (16th HRC) in New York (where Ariana-Leilani once attended meetings with her mother from 6 months old). Today almost 4 years later after the urgent UN communication Ariana-Leilani awaits rescue from known trafficking.

Second story (child labour), Tami was a child herself when she was smuggled into England. Her job was to cook, clean and care for the children, including babies of one family. She was kept in the home for years to work all day and night as need. She was kept out from the public and not allowed to go to school or have friends. Tami when going out was able to get attention and help. The End Child Prostitution and Trafficking of UK helped to rescue and provide her advocacy and healing services. Today she is a university student and working with other children / youth who have been trafficked.

Third story ( child marriage), Marriam was a happy child in a large family. She was a very good student and looked forward to being able to attend university. At 13 years old her mother told her that she was getting married. She thought that it was a joke. Weeks later she found herself being married off to a man almost 40 years her senior who had been widowed. After the marriage she was kept locked in a small room with no bed and naked. When friends and family visited her and saw the condition she was in, they solicited help from a local NGO. An NGO and the local police rescued Ava from child marriage exploitation. Today she is completing school and looks forward to her future.

A variety of potential solutions have accordingly been suggested and implemented, which can be categorized as four types of action: broad prevention, advocacy and healing, and were explored during the event by the speakers that included Dr. Adebisi Adebayo, Manager for the Inter-African Committee, Homayra Sellier, Innocence in Danger Worldwide, Lorella Bertani, Esq. Legal advocacy in child trafficking and pornography – Switzerland, Bharti Patel, CEO and Debbie Beadle, Youth Manager, and Temitope,(UK),  all from ECPAT-UK, of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking; Christine Bussat, Founder and President - La Marche Blanche, Switzerland, Neha Premjee AFI Youth Leader, (India),  Brigadier Carl Emery, a Co-Founder The Peace Fighters and Police Investigator (Switzerland); William Murray, a Co-Founder of  The Peace Fighters from (Northern Ireland); Silke Gutzmann, Executive Director at Innocence in Danger (Switzerland), Ibtissam Karoui, (Germany), and Dumi Senda – Poet Children book author, The Day the Sun Promised to Smile  FOREVER! – (UK/ Zimbabwe), and Amin Kosrvari an AFI Youth RTD at the UN Co-Chair and founder of Kamideas (Algeria & UK).

The major international documents dealing with the trafficking of children are:

1. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child  (UNCRC)    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRC/Pages/CRCIndex.aspx

2. UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

3. International Labour Organization Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/WorstFormsofChildLabour/lang--en/index.htm

Ariel Foundation Interantional
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