Africa: Widespread Child Exploitation Extends to Sport, 4/16/99

Africa: Widespread Child Exploitation Extends to Sport, 4/16/99

AFRICA: Widespread child exploitation extends to sport

NAIROBI, 16 April (IRIN) - One of the latest examples of the violation of child rights in Africa is the exploitation of promising young athletes, a UN special rapporteur has revealed.

Head-hunters have been scouting developing countries, especially in Africa, in search of potential stars - offering their guardians money and then bringing them abroad, especially to northern Europe.

"The problem arises when no [football] team will take the boy, who is then usually abandoned and left to fend for himself", Ofelia Calceta-Santos, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, said.

"Reports from all over the world reveal strategies and ruses by marketers of children to effect the trading of children", she added.

Calceta-Santos was addressing a special dialogue of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the rights of the child on Thursday, at which representatives of countries, agencies and NGOs spoke of the need to combat the exploitation of children.

"The marginalisation of children comes in every possible dimension", Stephen Lewis, Deputy Director of UNICEF reported. He said they suffered death through preventable disease, labour and sexual exploitation, violence and HIV/AIDS. There have also been millions of child victims of contemporary civil conflicts such as those witnessed in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Lewis added.

Discussions identified a clear link between children's rights and those of women. "Women are the main protectors of the human rights of children, and this ought to be properly recognised", a UNHCR report of the proceedings stated.

Delegates said children needed to be heard and the Commission should provide a voice for them, preferably after interaction with children.


Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 14:59:44 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: AFRICA: Widespread child exploitation extends to sport [19990416]

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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