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 Statement from ECPAT International


Statement by Mr Mark Capaldi

Deputy Director, ECPAT International, WSIS CHILD RIGHTS Caucus

16 November 2005

Madam Chair, thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Child Rights Caucus that has been actively contributing to the WSIS process.

As stakeholders, we have been encouraged with the inclusion of many of the concrete proposals made in the third preparatory conference in Geneva and here in Tunis. In particular we note the affirmation of commitment to incorporation of policies and frameworks for child protection in ICTs as noted in the Political Chapeau. Also, promotion of the broad adoption of the Convention on Cybercrime and the mobilization of appropriate resources to make available child helplines.

For the most part, cyberspace brings many benefits – particularly for children, who are the primary users of new ICT developments. But, new technologies are also used to facilitate sexual exploitation of children: in pornography making (international police databases have now identified more than 1 million images of children subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation); solicitation of children online; real-time abuse occurring offline and online simultaneously; and networking for sex tourism and among people with an interest in sex with children and trafficking of children. Increased circulation and easy access provided by new technology has led to more interest in these materials, proved by the hundreds and thousands of people now accessing and downloading these images. Estimates from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation of annual revenue generated from child pornography images puts the figure between $US 3 billion to US $ 20 billion

The agreement to recommend multi-stakeholder partnerships as defined in the Agenda for Action is an important step forward and is welcomed by civil society groups. However, this structure of inclusiveness is not reflected in the narrow range of action lines that have been defined for follow up. In this context the Child Rights Caucus would urge the Summit to consider a follow up mechanism that would allow an E-Child Action Line category with a defined moderator/facilitator. This would provide an appropriate forum to address policy and, research development (including the establishment of tools to assess the impact of ICT development on all aspects of child rights) and promote systems of multi-stakeholder cooperation that benefit all children.

Madam Chair, this must ensure that the commitments to children made at Geneva are followed up in the Tunis Declaration. We are concerned that these last but important areas on implementation have not been fully considered. We are confident that it is not too late to do so. Meanwhile, the Child Rights Caucus will continue to offer our support so that Tunis Declaration implements the rights, participation and protection of all children in the Information Society. We take this opportunity to thank our hosts the Government of Tunisia and Government of Switzerland, the organizing agency ITU for facilitating the participation Child Rights Caucus.

Thank you.

Members of the WSIS Child Rights Caucus

ATUDE, Tunisia – Mr Jameledine Khemakhem, President du Caucus

Fondation Internationale pour les Enfants du Monde, Geneva

Association OCAPROCE International, Cameroun

ECPAT International

Child Helpline International


Plan International

Consortium for Street Children

Child Net

NGO Group for the Rights of the Child

Save the Children





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