A Chinese civil society organization holds a meeting at the United Nations and calls for the protection of children from sexual abuse
On the afternoon of June 21 Geneva time, the “Anti-Child Sexual Assault” meeting initiated by the Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center, a non-governmental organization, was held during the 35th UN General Assembly.
The meeting was moderated by Xiaomeng Qi, a researcher at the center. Catherine Mbengue, representative of Ending the Exploitation of Children (ECPAT), and Tong Lihua, director of the center, respectively gave a keynote speech on the work done by NGOs in prevention of child sexual abuse , the current challenges and solutions.
Representatives of international organizations such as the International Bridges to Justice, Chinese students in Geneva and other parties attended the activity.
Catherine Mbengue, representative of ECPAT, demonstrated the harm of sexual assault to children through a video. Subsequently, she introduced ECPAT’s efforts to eliminate child sexual abuse. Catherine said that she was glad to see that the goal of preventing sexual assault against children has been reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and that we should take this opportunity to solve this problem in the future.
Lihua Tong, director of Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center, then introduced the work completed by the center on child protection since its establishment in 1999 , as well as the changes of Chinese legislations and policy regarding child sexual assault in recent years. He also revealed the current challenges in preventing and dealing with cases of child sexual abuse.
He expressed that “Child sexual abuse has become a crucial issue in the field of child protection. The international community should take effective measures such as establishing an independent expert committee at the United Nations, facilitating the establishment of coordination committees and expert committees at the national level in all countries, holding annual global summits, and strengthening communication and cooperation among legislative departments, judicial departments, relevant governmental departments and professional social organizations of various countries to promote effective practices. ”
In the Q&A session, the audience communicated passionately with guests. Karen Tse, chairman of the International Judicial Bridge, complimented that for the past two decades, Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center has made remarkable achievements in the field of public welfare legal service in China. It has not only won respect in China but also obtained widespread recognition in the international level. The two consecutive meetings organized by Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center not only successfully introduced the domestic work conducted by Chinese lawyers and social organizations, but also successfully demonstrated their contributions to the commonly concerned issues such as violence and sexual abuse against children. Karen hoped that the social organizations in China would participate more in the international activities and they are willing to have deeper cooperation with Chinese social organizations.