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Children’s Rights Must Come First

End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking in Children

Media Release Tuesday 21 March 2006

Children’s Rights Must Come First

ECPAT New Zealand expresses deep concern at the decision of a Wellington District Court to award $25,000 damages to a convicted paedophile.

The Executive Director of ECPATNZ, Jane Foster said that “the rights of a convicted paedophile to privacy must never be given precedence over the rights of children to be protected."

“In this case we believe the police acted responsibly in warning people in the immediate vicinity that a paedophile with a long series of convictions was living in their area very close to schools and play centres."

“It is the duty of the police not just to respond to crime, but also to take steps to try and prevent it taking place” she said, “Creating a safe environment for children is a crucial responsibility for police and for the whole community. In this case, the placement of a serial paedophile in a location close to schools and children’s playgrounds was entirely inappropriate."

“Child sex abuse has profound long-term affects on the victims and should be recognised by the community as a major criminal action. People should also have some understanding of the behaviour of the paedophiles who have a compulsion to sexually abuse children. They are driven by an obsessive passion to abuse a child and in the process, develop subtle patterns of grooming vulnerable children. Earlier convictions show that it is not uncommon for a paedophile to abuse several hundred children over a period of some years”

ECPAT New Zealand supports the current Government proposal to develop an efficient paedophile register and believe that this will assist in the better monitoring of paedophiles in the community. Together with this action the legal authorities must ensure that the paedophiles with multiple convictions are not permitted to live within close proximity to schools and children’s playgrounds.

ECPAT NZ is part of a global network committed to end sexual exploitation of children.


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