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The World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 25 to 28 November 2008.
There were 3,500 participants including 300 adolescents – 150 of which were from foreign countries.
It concluded with an outcome document called the “Rio de Janeiro Declaration to Prevent and Stop Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents”, which contains the “Adolescent Declaration to End Sexual Exploitation”. Here are some of the key messages from children and young people to the world:
We the children of the world commend the Government of Brazil and the other governments and responsible agencies for giving us the children, the present and future of the world, a voice at this World Congress III.
We are at this moment calling for governmental actions to effectuate laws and policies that redound to the benefit, protection and wellbeing of children both on the local and international level. However, it is simply not enough to allow governments to make empty promises to curb this attack on children. Consequently, we the children, ask that action committees be created to audit the action plans in each country.
We also call for the adoption of an International Day where children will lead the effort in awareness raising campaigns, rallies and marches. To further enlarge the scope of this day, we request the organization of an International Art, Essay and Speech competition which will culminate on this day
We now turn our attention to the media particularly the internet which poses one of the greatest threats to millions of children throughout the world.
We the children must make known our plight for governments to pursue strict and punitive legislation with regards to the Internet, especially child pornography- simply another form of abuse.
We similarly ask for strong cyber safety Rules which are well propagated on both the websites and within the communities. To this end we call for the increased development of children’s, teachers, parent’s and family manuals which address the threats of the internet in addition to providing supplemental information about sexual exploitation of children.
Further, we provide a mandate for the media to gather documents, reports, folders, CDs, videos and other materials to increase knowledge on this issue. We the children of the world pledge to vehemently and passionately pursue these policies and to call our governments to action if we do not see positive steps being taken to end this
phenomenon that continues to scourge the world today.