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The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, supplementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, was adopted by the United Nations in 2000. In terms of the protocol, states must protect the rights and interests of child victims of trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography, child labour and especially the worst forms of child labour. The protocol promotes international law enforcement through provisions covering diverse issues such as jurisdictional factors; extradition; mutual assistance in investigations, criminal or extradition proceedings and seizure and confiscation of assets. Unlike the CRC, in terms of which state parties commit themselves only to taking ‘appropriate measures’ to prevent certain practices, the protocol places an explicit obligation on states to make certain activities relating to the sale of children a criminal offence.

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