UN: News Service: New York: (6/11/2007): An independent United Nations human rights expert today urged a full investigation of the recent alleged attempt to abduct children from Chad and fly them to France, and called for a fair trial for those responsible.
The Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Juan Miguel Petit, issued a statement in Geneva voicing concern about the recent incidents in Abeché, eastern Chad leading to the arrest of some members of a non-governmental organization (NGO) called "Arche de Zoé/Child Rescue" following its alleged attempt to abduct and transfer 103 children to France for alleged adoption.
"I call upon both Chadian and French authorities to fully investigate and shed light about the circumstances surrounding the capture of the children. Those found responsible for violations of the rights of the child must be brought to justice and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards," he said.
"I also call upon all parties to take steps to prevent further abuses, always bearing in mind the best interests of children and to respect the relevant international instruments," he added, citing various treaties including the Hague Agreement on the Protection and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption.
Mr. Petit also commended the efforts of international humanitarian and national agencies on the ground "which are deploying remarkable efforts to ensure the protection of the children involved, including the immediate provision of basic humanitarian assistance.