NZ ratifies treaties on rights of child, peacekeeping
New Zealand has ratified two treaties at the United Nations – one criminalises serious violation of children's rights, the other criminalises attacks on UN peace-builders.
Justice Minister Simon Power deposited New Zealand's instruments of ratification in September 2011.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography emphasises criminalising these serious violations of children's rights, and stresses the need for international cooperation to combat these violations and for public awareness campaigns. It was adopted in 2000.
Mr Power said New Zealand joins 157 other countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol.
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel was adopted in 2005. The parent 1994 Convention criminalises attacks against UN peacekeeping personnel.
This protocol expands the Convention's coverage to protect personnel engaged in peace-building and conflict prevention.
Mr Power said New Zealand played a key role in the negotiations for the 1994 Convention following our experience on the UN Security Council in 1993-94, and in the negotiations for the Optional Protocol. New Zealand joins 25 other countries which have ratified the Optional Protocol.
ECPAT Child ALERT's Comments:
This move by the Government heralds a new opportunity for New Zealand to put renewed efforts into protecting our children from all forms of sexual exploitation.We have been asking for this final act by Government to take place over a number of years since the initial signing of the protocol in the year 2000.”
“This is a national problem as well as a global problem. It is estimated that globally over 1 million children are trafficked into the illegal sex industry every year and that the illegal sex industry including child prostitution, pornography and trafficking is the second or third largest criminal revenue earner along with arms and drugs and totals the equivalent of around $NZ50 billion annually. And New Zealand is not exempt. Child prostitution and particularly child pornography are evident in this country and we should not fall into the trap of thinking this type of crime only occurs in overseas locations. We owe it to our children to be vigilant and make every effort to keep them safe from sexual abuse.”
Some key points of the Optional Protocol against the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography – and good reasons why New Zealand should ratify this convention!
(i) Offering, delivering or accepting, by whatever means, a child for the purpose of:
a. Sexual exploitation of the child;
b. Transfer of organs of the child for profit;
c. Engagement of the child in forced labour;
d. Offering, obtaining, procuring or providing a child for child prostitution;
e. Producing, distributing, disseminating, importing, exporting, offering, selling or possessing for the above purposes child pornography.
** Each State Party (signing country) shall make such offences punishable by appropriate penalties that take into account their grave nature.