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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, A/HRC/19/63/Add.1, 9 November 2011: Mauritius

III. Situation analysis

B. Root causes and risk factors

23. Sex education has been included in the school curriculum in Mauritius. However, in the absence of truly effective sex education programmes, the proliferation of images and videos available through information and communication technologies may serve as the basis for children’s first ideas about sexuality and sexual behavior, increasing their risk of early sexualization, mimicking behavior, or becoming victims of this behaviour.

IV. Measures to combat and prevent the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

F. Preventive measures

87. Another worrying situation is the lack of effective sex education in schools, and the taboo of the subject within homes and the community. The current situation creates confusion and lack of understanding about sexuality, situations of precocious sexuality, particularly for pre-teenage children, and an environment where children do not feel safe or secure discussing issues related to sexuality with their families and within their communities. While the Ministry of Education and Human Resources claims that there are sexual education programmes in the schools, reportedly, in practice, these are inadequate and are not sufficiently targeted to the real issues faced by teenagers and pre-teenagers when it comes to their sexual practices. As a result, stakeholders report that rates of teenage pregnancy are on the increase, as is precocious sexual activity. The latter is deemed to be “deviant” behavior, which parents cannot “control”. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources, in collaboration with all stakeholders, is reportedly seeking to strengthen the sex education programme for secondary schools and upper primary classes, and is producing a DVD on sex education for primary schools. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life will carry out a global school-based survey on the sexual behavior of pupils at Form II, III and IV levels.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRSaleofChildren-Mauritius-2011-eng