Child-friendly version Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography


Child-friendly version Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

From the Foreword:

"Dear Reader,

Governments, organizations and people around the world are committed to ensuring the rights of the child and keeping children and young people protected from harm. Over the years, many important promises and commitments have been made at the international level to give children a safe and secure childhood. All children should know that these promises exist and be able to refer to them when needed.

This booklet explains the contents of one of these international commitments: the OptionalProtocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (or the OPSC for short).The OPSC is important because it explains what can be done to stop sexual violence against children and how we can help the children affected. 

The official version of the OPSC includes many technical and legal terms (for example: jurisdiction and extradition). Terms that can be difficult for people of all ages to understand. With the support and guidance from children, we have chosen to include and keep many of these terms within this booklet and provide explanations. Children told us that while these terms may be difficult to understand, it is helpful to learn about them. For these reasons, this version of the OPSC may be best used by older children and young people and with the support of knowledgeable adults, teachers and group leaders.

If you have more questions or need to use the OPSC for legal purposes, we recommend that you refer to the official, full length version (a link has been provided at the end of this publication).

In this booklet you can learn:


1.      What is the United Nations?

2.      What is a Convention and what is an Optional Protocol?

3.      How does the OPSC address certain forms of violence against children?

4.      And more helpful information.

We encourage you to widely share the information in this booklet with other people, especially children and young people in your family, school and community. We also encourage you to share the information with your online community. You can also start a discussion with your friends on how to protect yourselves. Teachers, caregivers, and organizations that are working to end violence will also benefit from this booklet. If you would like to find more information about this topic or would like to take action, please see the ‘Research and Advocacy’ section at the end of the publication.

Do remember…

This booklet mainly talks about issues related to sexual violence. This information may be difficult to read and some readers may feel sad, worried or fearful. If this is the case, you may wish to talk to someone about the issues addressed by the publication Think about talking to someone you trust and who can support you to find the help you may need. This could be a parent, caregiver, teacher, social worker, a sister or brother.


Marta Santos Pais,

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children "