Held by the Committee: 27 May 2015

Published by the Committee: 3 June 2015

Issues raised:

Measures adopted to prevent offences prohibited under the Protocol :

 The Committee notes that the State party has made some efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, including through awareness raising campaigns in communities about the risk of child trafficking and sexual exploitation. However, the Committee is seriously concerned that the State party is primarily a country of origin for human trafficking, with primary destination to Thailand, and that an overwhelming majority of victims of sexual exploitation are girls between 10-18 years, and most of them are forced into child prostitution. The Committee is particularly concerned by the current policies and programmes are inadequate to address the underlying root causes of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, such as discrimination against ethnic minority children, poverty, high school-drop out rate, lack of access to free education, children living in street situations, and unsafe labour migration, particularly to Thailand. The construction of hydropower dams and the operations of large scale extractive industries are also leading to displacement of communities, particularly children from ethnic minorities, and consequently exposing them to the vulnerabilities of abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking. Despite the increasing birth registration, around 67 per cent of registered children do not possess birth certificates and that birth registration among Hmong-Mien households is particularly low, leaving them vulnerable to the offences under the Optional Protocol. The lack of public awareness of crimes of sexual exploitation of children, including among parents and children themselves, and social and cultural tolerance of sexual exploitation of children in communities are preventing reporting and prosecution of such crimes. Also, there is a lack of child participation mechanisms in the development of legislation, policies and programmes to address sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. (para. 21)


23. The Committee notes that the State party has adopted a new decree to regulate both domestic and inter-country adoption. However, the Committee regrets that the State party lacks a mechanism to monitor national and international adoptions and that it has not ratified the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. (para. 23)

Child Pornography:

25. The Committee is extremely concerned that child pornography is easily available for download to mobile phones and memory sticks from CD shops in many locations in the State party and that the Security Emergency Response Team at the National Internet Center lacks capacity for identifying or blocking child pornography websites or images. Furthermore, there is an increasing number of teenagers recording images of themselves engaging in sexual acts on their mobile phones and that there is no policy or specific plan in position to address issues of child pornography. (para. 25)

Child sex tourism:

2The Committee is seriously concerned that a large number of children are being sexually exploited by foreign paedophiles in the State party. The Committee is particularly concerned about the lack of specific national legislation which explicitly prohibits child sex tourism and the lack of capacity in the government to effectively addressing this issue.The State party  has a weak legal framework and insufficient coordination between the State party and international agencies working to identify and prosecute child pornographers and paedophiles. The State party remains among the main destination countries for child sex tourism. There is insufficient awareness raising on child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism as well as inadequate regulation of and engagement with the private sector, especially travel, hotel and tourism industry to prevent and combat child sex tourism. (para. 27)

Existing criminal or penal laws and regulations:

The Committee notes with serious concern that the domestic legislation does not fully specify and incorporate all offences under the Optional Protocol. The Committee is particularly concerned that: (a) Not all forms of the sale of children, including for the purpose of transfer of organs of child, covered by article 2 (a) and article 3, paragraph 1 (a) (i) of the Optional Protocol have been classified as distinct offences from human trafficking. Some provisions of the Penal Law punishing crimes under the Optional Protocol, in particular child prostitution, only protect children up to the age of 15 and penalties under the Penal Law and the Child Protection Law for such crimes do not adequately reflect the severity of the offences. The State party does not have legislation specifically criminalizing possession of child pornography and the solicitation of children for sexual purposes (grooming), including by means of information and communication technology.The Penal Law criminalizes the rape of girls only, and not that of boys, resulting in impunity for crimes of sexual exploitation of boys. (para. 29)


The Committee is alarmed about the large number of cases of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children not leading to a conviction due to traditional out-of-court settlements at the village level and the failure of the judicial authorities to enforce the law. The Committee is specifically concerned that prosecution of foreign traffickers is rare and impunity remains pervasive in the context of child prostitution and trafficking related investigations and prosecutions, primarily because of corruption and, sometimes, due to the alleged complicity of law enforcement, judiciary and immigration officials in human trafficking. (para. 31)


33. The Committee is seriously concerned that the State party lacks a specific law on extradition and that the State party still maintains a reservation on article 5 (2) of the Optional Protocol. (para. 33)

Measures adopted to protect the rights and interests of child victims of offences prohibited under the Optional Protocol:

35. The Committee is seriously concerned that child victims of trafficking and prostitution are often treated as offenders instead of victims, and that their privacy and safety are not guaranteed during the criminal justice process. The Committee further expresses its concern about reports that child victims of trafficking within the State party and those used in prostitution are criminalised or convicted of involvement in prostitution. (para. 35)

Recovery and reintegration of victims:

37. The Committee is concerned about the   State   party’s  overreliance   on   NGOs   and   international organizations to provide funding and other support for recovery and reintegration of child victims. Furthermore, the recovery and reintegration measures are limited to victims of trafficking and do not adequately take into account the needs of child victims of offences covered under the Optional Protocol, especially at the districts level, due to a lack of resources and insufficient number of adequately trained staff and officials. The Committee also regrets the absence of State-run rehabilitation and reintegration programmes and that social reintegration and assistance are tasks carried out mainly by non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies. (para. 37)

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