Brazil will host the World Congress against sexual exploitation of children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro this month from November 25 to November 28. It is anticipated that there will be around 3,500 people attending including official delegations from 150 governments.
This third global Congress will bring governments from around the world seeking answers to many aspects of child sex abuse - an issue which continues to plague all countries. Experts will speak on specific issues such as child trafficking, legal matters, the prostitution of children, internet child pornography and paedophile behaviour.
Unlike other inter-governmental conferences this Congress is unique in having voting representatives from non-governmental organizations, international groups and commercial representatives. A special feature will be the participation of young people in the discussions.
The Congress is sponsored by the government of Brazil, ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) International and UNICEF (The United Nations Children's Fund).
"All this may seem distant from New Zealand," said Alan Bell, Director of ECPAT New Zealand, "but is in fact very relevant. New Zealand is not free from such issues and both the government and the general public should be aware of the risks to which New Zealand children are exposed and be alert and active in preventing the escalation of child sexual abuse in our own country."
The New Zealand government approved a national Plan of Action to combat Child Sex Abuse and presented it at the last World Congress (Yokohama 2001) .
The New Zealand government has invited Cindy Kiro the retiring Commissioner for Children to represent its interests at the Congress to be held in Brazil. ECPAT New Zealand has also agreed to provide key politicians with a debriefing on their return to New Zealand.
ECPAT New Zealand will send four representatives to the Congress, two of whom will be speaking at the Forums.