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The Child Development Unit (CDU) was set up in 1995. It ensures that the survival, protection, development and participation rights of the Mauritian child are upheld as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child whereby the best interests of the child shall be of primary consideration in all policies, programmes and actions pertaining to children’s welfare.
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is the sexual exploitation by an adult of a child or adolescent below 18 years of age that involves a transaction in cash or in kind to the child or to one or more third parties.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children includes:
National Action Plan on CSEC:
Mauritius showed its commitment in providing the required support and assistance to victims of trafficking and juvenile prostitution. Following a study which was commissioned in 2001 by UNICEF and the Ministry, a National Action Plan of Action was prepared to prevent and progressively eliminate and protect Juvenile Prostitution victims and also to ensure their recovery and re-integration in the society. The measures proposed in the National Plan of Action are based on Coordination and Cooperation, Prevention (the need for trained personnel), Recovery and Reintegration (i.e. the setting-up of the Drop-in-Center).
A Drop-in-Center was set-up at Bell Village on 05th December 2003. The Centre is run and managed by the
Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association (MFPWA) and is monitored by the
Child Development Unit. Cases of sodomy, child prostitution, sexual intercourse under 16, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, abortion, teenage pregnancy, attempt upon chastity, rape and teenage pregnancy are dealt with at the level of the Drop-In-Centre.
services offered at the Drop-in-Centre are as follows:
The Residential Drop-in-Center (GRNW):
Legislations to combat CSEC and Trafficking in Person:
As per the Civil Status Act, provision is made for a declaration of birth to be made within 45 days of the birth. As per the Civil Status Act of 1982, in the absence of the parents, the Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry declares the child and the Child Development Unit is given the mandate to facilitate the procedure for the tardy declaration of birth of Children only.
The Tardy Declaration of Birth has been put in place since 2005 and acts as a fast track system for children whose birth have not been registered within the prescribed delay. This system ensures that the children are not deprived of their rights.
The CDU works in close collaboration with other stakeholders, including, the State Law Office, the Civil Status Office, the Police Department, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Judiciary to identify and record cases of undeclared births and to arrange for the registration of same within the shortest delay.
The Child Rehabilitation Services provide for the re-insertion of Children Victims of Violence into their families/ next-of-kin. As a measure of last resort, children with at risk in their immediate family environment are placed in Shelters/ RCIs, whereby they are provided with more permanent residential care facilities, following the issue of Committal Orders. These institutions are Charitable Institutions/ Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that work in collaboration with the MGEFW.
The CDU is mandated to ensure that rehabilitation is undertaken between the children and their biological parents, with the aim of returning them to their family. Presently, the Ministry has
three (3) Government-owned Shelters and it is working with
fifteen (15) RCIs run by NGOs.