The title of Special Rapporteur is granted to people who work on behalf of the United Nations (UN) with a specific thematic mandate. Beyond the investigations related to their expertise, the rapporteurships follow up on the complaints of alleged victims of human rights violations.
The mandate relating to the sale and sexual exploitation of children is the only one that focuses exclusively on children. This has been renewed periodically since 1990. In March 2020, Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh (Gambia) was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Ms. Singhateh is a trained lawyer with almost 20 years of experience and currently works as an international consultant on human rights and legal and institutional reforms. She holds a LLM in International Business Law from the University of Hull and has received numerous training courses in children’s rights programming, arbitration and mediation, as well as law drafting.
Part of her mandate as Special Rapporteur is to identify, analyse and address the causes, factors and practices of child sexual exploitation by prostitution and pornography. In addition to recognizing and promoting comprehensive strategies and prevention measures, the Rapporteur assumes the responsibility of making recommendations on the promotion and protection of the human rights and rehabilitation of actual or potential child victims of sale and sexual exploitation.
In order to compliance with these mandates, the Rapporteur makes visits to countries to study the situation in situ. Based on these information-gathering visits, annual reports are produced to the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
Within the framework of the visit to Uruguay, the Special Rapporteur held a meeting at the headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Children and Adolescents (IIN).
Present at the meeting were: Nouf Al Anezi, Associate Human Rights Officer of the Special Procedures Branch, Claudia Barrientos, Interim Director of the IIN-OAS and Alejandra Di Pierro, Coordinator of the IIN Coordinator of the Inter-American Cooperation Program for the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Exploitation, Smuggling and Trafficking of Children and Adolescents- IIN-OAS.
During the meeting, both institutions shared their missions on the issue, the progress and challenges of the Uruguayan state in addressing this phenomenon and associated recommendations such as the inclusion of children and adolescents in the definition of actions, awareness campaigns on the issue, a comprehensive approach and the allocation of budgets.
The meeting marks the beginning of a bond of mutual collaboration for the promotion and protection of the rights of children and adolescents.