Press Release

11 April 2001


Countries and international agencies addressing the Commission on Human Rights this afternoon said that despite extensive codification and advances in humanitarian law, such difficulties as poverty, armed conflict, child labour, trafficking in persons, and child sex tourism continued to damage the lives of millions of children around the world.
A Representative of Switzerland said that despite normative progress achieved in recent years, the vast majority of children continued to live in precarious situations which worsened in times of internal trouble and armed conflict -- and that forced labour, slavery, sexual exploitation, torture, ill-treatment, migration, HIV/AIDS, discrimination against girls, and lack of access to food and basic education were still problems.


HANY SELIM LABIB (Egypt) said ....


Egypt had adopted comprehensive legislation against all kinds of exploitation of children. ILO Convention 182 had been ratified, and measures had been adopted to eradicate child labour. One challenging problem facing the country was population increase. As for the situation in the occupied Arab territories, the international community should assume its responsibilities and protect Palestinian children.


SAJA MAJALI (Jordan) said her country had made substantial progress on the rights of the child in the last decade. A National Conference on Children was held in 1992, and a Plan of Action adopted. The Jordanian Government, with the support of NGOs and UN agencies, had helped implemented many programmes in Jordan. Close cooperation with all these agencies had helped with technical advice and financing of these programmes. There had been strong efforts to emphasize the role of every sector of society, including the private sector, in promoting child rights.

A global strategy on violence in the family had been implemented. The Jordanian Government set up a special department in the Ministry of Labour to protect children from exploitation in work. There was a project under way with the International Labour Office that would combat the sale of children. There was a need to protect children from armed conflict, and a few days ago, Jordan had hosted a Middle East conference to help prevent the enlistment of children under age 18.

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