Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on Agenda Item 70: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of

Gregory McElwain
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 9, 2018


The United States shares the Special Rapporteur’s alarm that many Member States are falling short on their shared commitments to end the sale and sexual exploitation of children and to protect them from violence. We underline the importance of eliminating these onerous practices and human rights abuses on these issues, and that numerous U.S. government agencies and offices work closely and globally with partner governments, civil society, and faith-based organizations to combat this scourge.

As part of this effort, the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is pioneering Child Protection Compact partnerships. The aim is to work collaboratively with U.S. assistance directed in a tailored fashion to enhance both recipient government and civil society efforts to address child trafficking problems in that particular country.

The Department of Justice’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section also employs a strategic approach to combating child sexual exploitation in all forms, including emerging threats spurred by technological advances.

The mission of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs includes combating child labor, forced child labor, and child sex trafficking internationally as a key mission.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is currently revising its policy to counter trafficking in persons, to prioritize meeting the needs of child survivors through education and economic empowerment. The U.S. Government Special Advisor on Children in Adversity, housed in USAID, is leading an overarching U.S. government strategy that calls for a comprehensive, coordinated, and effective response to the urgent needs of the world’s most-vulnerable children.

The websites of these U.S. organizations and agencies contain fact sheets, press releases, and publications, which give detailed information about their many ongoing projects and success stories.

The Special Rapporteur notes the need for more efforts to collect data on the sale and exploitation of children. The United States regularly publishes three detailed documents that contain this sought-after information. These congressionally mandated reports seek to systematically access and collect comparable data for countries, with an aim toward awareness and coordinating approaches.

The exploitation of children is a deep-rooted problem that requires rigorous, persistent, multi-pronged efforts among governments, civil society, faith-based organizations, communities, and families. What actions does the Special Rapporteur think stakeholders can most usefully take in the near term?