Statement at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children

Julie Lelek
Third Committee Advisor
New York, New York
October 7, 2021


Thank you, Madam Special Rapporteur, for your report on the importance of using a child-centered and gender-inclusive approach to combating and eradicating the sale and exploitation of children. We recognize the importance of laws using gender-inclusive and non-binary language in helping all children, including those that identify as LGBTQI+, to be seen, heard, and respected.

The United States also recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including online sexual exploitation due — in part — to closures of schools and limited parental supervision.

Despite competing priorities, reduced capacities, and decreased resources caused by the pandemic, the United States urges all Member States to prioritize protecting children, prosecuting traffickers and sexual exploiters, and delivering comprehensive services for victims and survivors.

I will end with a question. Madam Special Rapporteur, in your report you state that gender-sensitive and sexuality education play a crucial role in preventing child sexual exploitation. How can we ensure that all children, especially those in countries that criminalize LGBTQI+ status or conduct, have access to such education?