Today children from around the world will have a voice in the international community when the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child hosts its first ever global discussion on empowering under-18s as ‘human rights defenders’.
In a major UN first, children will make up a quarter of the invited participants at the United Nations in Geneva with children as speakers, moderators, social media commentators and contributors to the forum.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) welcomes the Day of General Discussion, which puts children at centre stage. As a leader in the fight against exploitation of young people, through its global work to remove child sexual abuse images and videos from the internet, the IWF believes this important initiative is a step in the right direction.
Article 34 of the UN’s convention on the Rights of the Child states that Governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Our work falls directly in line with the UN’s convention on the Rights of the Child and that is why we are today reminding Governments everywhere of their obligations towards children.
Michael Tunks, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, said: “We believe wholeheartedly that children have rights that must be respected, protected and promoted. Sadly, each and every day the rights of young people are under attack across the world, so we fully support all UN efforts to raise awareness of the need for greater child protection. This day of discussion and involvement is an important step in children having their voices heard as human rights defenders, but we all need to keep children’s rights at the top of all of our agendas - not just for today, but for every day.
“At the IWF, we are playing our part in the work we do to remove images and videos of child sexual abuse online. We never forget that behind every indecent image we remove from the internet is a real child who has been the victim of abuse. We owe it to them to ensure that we are doing all that we can to ensure that they are able to recover, by not having their suffering compounded by having their abuse viewed online.”