Project Description

Working Group Ending Sexual Exploitation of Children


While no precise statistics for Sexual Exploitation of Children (SEC) are available, evidence shows increasing vulnerability of children to SEC and the crime is outpacing law enforcement and child protection measures; no region, country or child is immune; and there is no typical victim, offender or offending mode.

SEC takes many and rapidly mutating forms: through Prostitution, Trafficking, Online, Travel and tourism, Early and forced marriage; various combinations and interactions between these forms, causing lasting victims and survivors’ trauma. The rapid and evolving nature of the victims of SEC has outpaced international law, resulting in a child protection lacuna. The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) does not anticipate main drivers of SEC. In a rapidly connected world of information communication, technology and Internet, perpetrators use this industry infrastructure to victimize children. Remote parts of the planet are now within reach due to cheaper and easier travel, proliferation of forms of travel and tourism and new dimension of travel- online bookings, voluntourism, peer to peer accommodation arrangements. Offenders’ opportunities and venues have drastically increased, and more children are victims or at risk.

States Parties to the CRC and OPSC need guidance on how to address SEC and their obligations under the CRC and under the OPSC, to fulfill their obligations to protect and uphold the rights of all children.

The Working Group Ending Sexual Exploitation of Children

The Working Group Ending Sexual Exploitation of Children contributes to the efforts by mobilizing strategic partnership (Member States, UN entities, law enforcement agencies, civil society, private sector and children themselves – particularly those who have been directly affected by SEC) to collectively define an agenda for Ending the Sexual Exploitation of Children (SEC). 


  • Raise the profile of and promote greater attention to SEC on the legal and political agenda of Human rights mechanisms
  • Enhance partnerships with and facilitate synergies with Civil Society Organisations with the aim of ending SEC and amplifying the voices of child victims
  • Promote integration of SEC into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation and monitoring plan
  • Render SEC visible and a priority for action on the agenda of Global Partnerships/Alliances/initiatives/ UN Forum on Business and Human Rights


  • UN Human Rights mechanisms: Treaty bodies; UN Special Mandate holders & Special Representative of the UN Secretary Migrations); UN Secretary General Special Representatives UN agencies
  • Regional Human Right mechanism (ACERWC African committee of experts on the rights and welfare of children…)
  • Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Global partnership/Alliances/Initiatives / UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
  • Child Rights Connect wider membership, Secretariat and Working Groups (specifically WG on Children and Violence and WG on CAC)
  • Global, Regional national Child Rights and Child protection coalitions/Networks and Human Right and Human Rights institutions