UNICEF alert mentions sexual exploitation of children
Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, stated at the Sixth East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on children in Bali today that AIDS and the sexual exploitation on children in this continent are seriously threatening child welfare.
The director of the United Nations Children's Fund stated that "All the hard-earned gains for children in such areas as poverty reduction, education and nutrition will be swept away if we do not confront the HIV/AIDS threat with all our resources, courage and commitment." She added that the continent has an extremely high rate of child trafficking for sexual exploitation, calling the sexual exploitation of children "among the worst violations of children's rights in our world".
Host President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia declared at the opening ceremony that more than ten million children under five die around the world every year and stressed the need that the international community does all it can to guarantee that everything is done to protect the children, the adults of tomorrow.
This conference, which is to last three days, is expected to set the guidelines for action on child welfare in the region. More than 200 participants, including representatives from UNICEF, NGOs, and donor governments from 20 Asian countries are taking part.