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Latino Daily News

Sunday September 16, 2012

UN Urges Honduras to Make Greater Efforts to Protect Children From Sexual Exploitation

UN Urges Honduras to Make Greater Efforts to Protect Children From Sexual Exploitation

Photo: Honduras

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A United Nations independent expert today called on Honduras to increase its efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation, adding that the country still faces many challenges to ensure they are not victims of prostitution, pornography and abuse.

The Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Najat Maalla M’jid, warned that the rate of girls that are sexually exploited is “extremely worrying,” as well as the large number of young women who are pregnant due to abuse by relatives. She noted that the lack of sex education does not allow children to be aware of the inherent risks of sexual relations and early pregnancies.

During her visit, which ended on Friday, Ms. Maalla M’jid met various Government officials, civil society and private sector representatives. She also visited centres dedicated to the protection of children who have been victims of violence and abuse, where she spoke to children and teenagers about their experiences.

Ms. Maalla M’jid noted that reforms at a national and local level have not been effective due to a lack of coordination among institutions, limited resources, and slow judicial investigations, which do not ensure protection to victims and witnesses.

The Special Rapporteur called on the Government to adopt a unified and integrated approach to address the issue, and to reinforce its police and justice mechanisms so they effectively sanction perpetrators as quickly as possible. She also stressed that progress will not be achieved without strong political will and support from UN agencies and the international community.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.