Third Child Policy Forum of New York

"Implementation and Monitoring of the Optional Protocol to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography"

Third Child Policy Forum of New YorkEvent reviewed the degree to which statutes, regulations and programs of New York state serve to protect children and adolescents from sexual exploitation with a focus upon necessary law reform and mechanisms to implement and monitor the articles of the OPSC.

Participants included sponsors of The Safe Harbor Act, legislation recently passed into law to make New York the first state in the nation to provide specialized services and safe housing for children who have been sexually exploited, and The Anti-Human Trafficking Act Of 2007 (Chapter 74 of The Laws of 2007), which created new crimes of sex and labor trafficking, as well as an outlaw of the facilitation of sex tourism, and increased penalties for prostitution in the state. Nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field also participated in the forum.

The Children's Studies Center of Brooklyn College and the City University of New York held their Third Child Policy Forum of New York: Implementation and Monitoring of the Optional Protocol to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, on Feb. 6, 2009, at the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 U.N Plaza.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a human rights treaty created specifically to promote and protect the best interests and human rights of children worldwide. Since 1990, 193 countries have ratified the CRC. The United States and Somalia are the only two countries which that not ratified this historic treaty.

Although the United States has not ratified the CRC, it did ratify ratified the Optional Protocols to the CRC on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) on Dec. 23, 2002.

The United States has submitted an official report, which was discussed in Geneva in May/June 2008 with official recommendations by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child. The recommendations and treaty obligations for implementation and monitoring was the topic of our forum with an emphasis on New York state.

Opening Remarks

  • Gertrud Lenzer — Professor, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center; Drector, Brooklyn College Children's Studies Program and Center
  • Christoph M. Kimmich — President, Brooklyn College
  • William A. Tramontano — Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Brooklyn College
  • Kathryn Grant Madigan, Esq. — Immediate Past President, New York State Bar Association

Speakers

  • Angela O. Burton, Esq. — Associate Professor, CUNY School of Law
  • Howard Davidson, J.D. — Executive Director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law
  • The Honorable Jeffrey Dinowitz — New York State Assembly
  • Gertrud Lenzer — Professor, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center; Director, Brooklyn College Children's Studies Program and Center
  • Rachel Lloyd — Executive Director, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
  • Marta Santos Pais — Director, UNICEF Innocenti Research Cent
  • The Honorable William A. Scarborough — Chair of the Standing Committee on Children and Families, New York State Assembly
  • Carol Smolenski — Executive Director, ECPAT - USA

The forum was held in collaboration with the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Covenant House Nineline, CUNY School of Law, ECPAT-USA, and the New York State Bar Association Committee on Children and the Law

Funded by a grant from the CUNY University Affirmative Action Committee of the Diversity Projects Development Fund and the New York Community Trust/Mark Family Fund.

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