Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, 3 March 2021
Human Rights Council – 46th session
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children
1 March 2021
Australia thanks the Special Rapporteur for her presentation.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on the increased risk of sale and sexual exploitation faced by children as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We note in particular her findings on the changing pattern of child sexual exploitation and abuse resulting from lockdown measures, with abuse and exploitation increasingly taking place online.
We agree with the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation that keeping children safe can only be achieved through comprehensive policies and systematic collaboration across agencies and sectors. Only by strengthening collaboration among governments, industry and others, can we achieve the safe online environment that our children deserve.
In early 2020, Australia joined other countries in launching the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s largest internet companies, the Voluntary Principles provide a framework to work with businesses to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse, and are intended to drive collective action to combat this terrible crime.
We would like to ask the Special Rapporteur how else she considers governments can best work with businesses and the private sector to better prevent and combat child sexual exploitation and abuse, both online and offline?