National Rapporteur gives the opening speech of the panel of Missing Children in New York

Missing children and human trafficking, two problems that have a greater interdependency than is commonly thought. Missing children who are completely at the mercy of a human trafficker deserve to be our greatest concern. To protect this group we need to exchange and combine knowledge about human trafficking and missing children and build a common approach. The Dutch National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children Corinne Dettmeijer will draw attention to this interdependence in her opening speech of the panel "Missing Children: Disappearances, Abductions & Exploitation”. The panel is organized on the occasion of the sixtieth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

In her opening speech the Dutch National Rapporteur stresses that human traffickers can be the reason why children go missing. Figures from the US National Center of Missing and Exploited Children show that one out of five reports of missing children in the US is related to sexual exploitation. Human traffickers are involved in the removal of children from parental supervision. The question that must arise in everyone’s thoughts as soon as a child disappears is: ‘What are they running from, where are they running to and who is making them run?’

How to prevent children going missing

In her opening speech the rapporteur describes three steps needed to prevent children from going missing; prevent and anticipate to children gone missing, find children as soon as possible and prevent children from going missing again. “Children who go missing are additionally vulnerable to seeing their youth and the sense of their own worth being sacrificed to the inhuman impulses of a human trafficker. It is up to us to stop that from happening”, states the Dutch National Rapporteur.

Visit to New York

After her participation in the panel the Dutch National Rapporteur will meet with Deputy Permanent Representative Paul Menkveld and staff of the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the United Nations. In the afternoon the Dutch National Rapporteur will offer the first translation of her report “Child Sexual Abuse on Trial” to UN Special Representative on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais .