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Kommentarer från UNICEF Sverige på regeringens rapport till FNs barnrättskommittée

Kommentarer från UNICEF Sverige på regeringens rapport till FNs barnrättskommittée

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Published by UNICEF Sverige
Kommentarer från UNICEF Sverige på regeringens rapport om tillämpning av tilläggsprotokollet för barnkonventionen angående skydd mot barn.
Kommentarer från UNICEF Sverige på regeringens rapport om tillämpning av tilläggsprotokollet för barnkonventionen angående skydd mot barn.

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Published by: UNICEF Sverige on Sep 30, 2011
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Stockholm 24 March 2011To The UN Committee on the Rights of the ChildGeneva
Comments by UNICEF Sweden on Sweden’s initial report on the implementation of the OptionalProtocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitutionand child pornography
IntroductionUNICEF Sweden welcomes the opportunity to comment on Sweden’s first report on theimplementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Optional Protocol).Over the past few years, UNICEF Sweden has enhanced the work of child rights in Sweden. One of our prioritized issues has been the rights of 
children victims of trafficking
. In order to better securethe respect of the rights of these children, the overall aim of our work has been to ensure a full andcomprehensive implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in the Swedishlegislation and application.UNICEF Sweden notes with appreciation that the Swedish government has taken several measuresin order to combat the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. However, UNICEFSweden would like to call attention to some areas of concern. The remaining fact that childrenvictims of trafficking are not enough protected and that their rights are not fully respected isalarming. We believe that these children who are in a particularly vulnerable situation need moreattention from Swedish authorities and other professionals. This implies measures in terms of legislation, training of decision makers and allocation of resources.The following report will only cover the areas relevant for our work, mainly on the sale of children.The headlines below correspond with the Government Report.I. StatisticsThe participation of many actors makes the crime of human trafficking a well organized crime. Forthis reason it is very difficult to assess the extent of human trafficking. UNICEF Sweden remainshowever preoccupied with the lacking available data on the number of children victims of trafficking, both brought to Sweden and within Sweden. The official Swedish statistics dounfortunately not capture the true scale of this crime, compromising effective policy-making,resource mobilization and increasing the risk of further exploitation.
Questions and suggestions for recommendations from UNICEF Sweden to the Committee to theSwedish Government
 
Why are the official statistics so poor? 
 
 
We recommend the Swedish Government to improve the official data collection regarding thecrime of human trafficking.
III. General measures of implementation
Action Plans
UNICEF Sweden welcomes the latest updated version of the
National Action Plan against sexual exploitation of children
and agrees with the Action Plan’s purposes and preventive measures. Wealso welcome the
 Action Plan against prostitution and human trafficking for sexual proposes
.However, we expect to see a more rapid implementation regarding its five main areas: increasedprotection and support for the vulnerable, reinforced preventive work, reinforced quality andefficiency in the judicial system, increased national and international cooperation as well asincreased knowledge. Stronger Government commitment is needed to prevent and combat the saleof children, child prostitution and child pornography. The following includes improvedimplementation and making resources available for police and other Swedish authorities.
Questions and suggestions for recommendations from UNICEF Sweden to the Committee to theSwedish Government
Why is the Action Plan against human trafficking limited to sexual purposes? Why has the SwedishGovernment not yet adopted an Action Plan against trafficking for all purposes? What happened with the implementation of the training programmes after the Action Plan? 
We recommend the Swedish Government to promptly adopt an Action Plan against trafficking forall purposes. It is necessary to further increase knowledge about the purposes of this crime aswell as finding effective measures covering these different purposes.Legislation
UNICEF Sweden believes that a greater protection for children and young people from sexualexploitation is needed. UNICEF Sweden has made comments and suggestions on the Government’sevaluation of the 2005 sexual offences reform circulated for consideration. In our comments, wehave emphasized the importance of a stronger protection for children aged between 15 and 18,and for children victims of trafficking.UNICEF Sweden notes with appreciation that the crime of human trafficking in the Swedish PenalCode has been expanded to cover other forms of exploitation than for sexual purposes, such asforced labour. We also note that the requirement of “having control” is not longer required.UNICEF Sweden would like to reiterate that neither the CRC nor the two optional protocols havebecome part of the Swedish judicial system. Some provisions in the CRC and the Optional Protocolhave been transformed into the Swedish law by various legislative measures. However, UNICEFSweden believes that the principles and provisions in the CRC and its two optional protocols wouldbe considered more seriously in the judicial system if they were incorporated
as such
into theSwedish legislation and therefore became Swedish law. The present method of transformation isnot enough. For a realisation of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, UNICEF Sweden
 
 
believes that it is necessary to further strengthen its status. If the CRC and its two optionalprotocols would be incorporated as a whole into the Swedish legislation, their principles andprovisions could be directly invoked before the courts and applied by national authorities. Thiswould also promote a holistic approach of children and child protection engaging different actorsinvolved in protecting children’s rights. Despite the reforms in the Swedish legislation, thetransformation of different laws in Sweden is still needed in order to ensure that all relevantdomestic legislation is brought into compliance with these international provisions.
Questions and suggestions for recommendations from UNICEF Sweden to the Committee to theSwedish Government
Why is the Swedish Government still reluctant to fully incorporate the CRC and its optional protocolsinto the Swedish legislation? 
We encourage the Swedish Government to incorporate the CRC and its optional protocols intothe Swedish legislation, as has been recommended by the Committee in previous reports. Thiswould imply a need to consider the CRC not only article by article, but also holistically,recognizing the interdependence and indivisibility of children’s human rights. This would alsoenable the Government to better fulfil its obligations stipulated in the CRC. A transformation of different laws is still needed to ensure that all relevant domestic legislation is brought intocompliance with the CRC.
V. Prevention and detection
 Article 9.1- Prevention programmes
Collect and disseminate knowledge
UNICEF Sweden notes that improvements have been made regarding the dissemination of knowledge about sexual exploitation of children to relevant professional groups such as the police.We would nevertheless like to reiterate the deficiencies that exist with respect to inter-agencycollaboration and competence on children’s needs and rights. In order to detect children who areexploited in human trafficking, knowledge that these children seldom view themselves as victims of human trafficking is required. As we have stated in our previous report to the Committee onSweden’s implementation of the CRC in 2007, many children are in a relationship of dependency tothe human traffickers and see no alternative but to be loyal to them. These children do veryseldom, if at all, talk about their situation or ask for help. Appropriate legal powers and resourcesfor the agencies concerned are strongly needed.
New legislation on adults’ contacts with children for sexual purposes (grooming)
UNICEF Sweden welcomes the adoption of a new crime on adults’ contacts with children for sexualpurposes called
contact with children for a sexual purpose
, targeted on contacts with childrenthrough the Internet. These contacts make sexual abuse possible during meetings with the child.The aim is that this provision will further strengthen the protection for children against sexualabuse over the Internet.V. Prohibition and related matters (articles 3; 4, paragraphs 2 and 3, 4, 6 and 7)

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