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Action against child exploitation

Australian Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today launched a National Plan of Action Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, 'Tomorrow's Children'.

Mr Anthony speaking at the 2000 World Forum Conference, Children First in the New Millennium, said the plan marked the beginning of a new phase in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Australia.

"This plan will raise awareness of the issues that place children and young people at risk of commercial sexual exploitation," Mr Anthony said.

"Family breakdown, homelessness, prior experiences of sexual abuse, poverty, drug use, youth unemployment and social isolation are all factors that place our children and young people at risk.

"The plan identifies what Australia is doing and what will need to do in future, to tackle these serious issues."

Mr Anthony said 'Tomorrow's Children' fulfils a commitment Australia made in 1996, as one of 121 nations to sign a Declaration and Agenda for Action at the Stockholm World Congress, to raise awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

"This National Plan of Action is the result of a combined effort by Federal, State and Territory Governments and agencies in addition to a number of dedicated non-government organisations," Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony said the World Forum conference offered an ideal environment for the launching of 'Tomorrow's Children'.

"Leaders of major child welfare agencies from around the world will meet at the conference to discuss many issues that affect children," Mr Anthony said.

"This conference provides the perfect opportunity to inform all levels of government and the community about matters concerning child and family welfare."

See also www.australia.org.nz

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