Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, commonly known as United Nations Loli Ban, refers to a United Nations initiative to modernize obsolete regulations pertaining to child rights. The inclusion of drawn and animated sexual depictions of children under the umbrella term of child pornography and implied possibility of such materials being prohibited caused an online backlash against the proposal.


On February 14th, 2019, the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child proposed guidelines for implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child[1], with the draft available online.

The article 5, section 61 of the proposed document contained an extended description of materials categorized as child pornography, which, in addition to imagery of real underage individuals, also included drawings and animations of fictional characters. The description quoted Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children From Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, adopted by the by the Interagency Working Group in Luxembourg on 28 January 2016.[2]

It includes, inter alia: visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons; audio representations; any digital media representation; live performances; written materials in print or online; and physical objects such as sculptures, toys, or ornaments.

Section 62 and 63 of the proposed draft urged the United Nations member countries to prohibit distribution of any child sexual abuse materials and commented on the presumed social effects of such materials.

The Committee urges States parties to prohibit, by law, child sexual abuse material in any form.

The Committee is of the view that “simulated explicit sexual activities” should be interpreted as including any material, online or offline, that depicts or otherwise represents any person appearing to be a child engaged in real or simulated sexually explicit conduct and realistic and/or virtual depictions of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Such depictions contribute to normalising the sexualisation of children and fuels the demand of child sexual abuse material.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child also announced that comments and suggestions on the current draft of the Guidelines would be accepted until March 31st, 2019.[1]

Online Reactions

In the following days, users on Twitter[3][4], primarily in Japan, voiced concerns that the inclusion of drawings and animation under the category was misjudged and that the implementation of the draft would hurt the manga and doujin industries.

Masayuki Hatta @mhatta UN's definition of child p--- tries to include "drawings and cartoons" "written materials in print or online". This is a SERIOUS threat for the freedom of expression, Should comment now. ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CR.. 10:30 PM -14 Feb 2019

On February 17th, 2019, news outlet One Angry Gamer [5] covered the proposal in an article, drawing attention to the potential issue and highlighting drawbacks of the proposed draft. On the same day, Redditor[6] Gamegodtre posted a link to the article on /r/KotakuInAction subreddit, where it gained over 1,000 upvotes in two days.

On February 18th, 2019, YouTube[7] channel Lost Pause covered the controversial proposal. The video gained over 134,000 views in one day.

Following the article by One Angry Gamer and video by Lost Pause, multiple posts criticizing the proposed draft appeared on Twitter[8] and /r/Animemes[9] subreddit. In some examples, users accused the United States on not focusing on seemingly larger and more impactful issues.

United Nations THE UNITED NATIONS WANTS TO BAN ANIME Noble News 60K views kooklikeaout to break the law animemes shota loli Increasin efforts to end efforts to end world poverty world hunger which leads to which also Banning the deaths of kills millions a Lolis? millions a year. year. gIncreasing U. N. Seriously? f Thánh cmnr 割) ANGRY DARLING NOTSES*
N.CHAND 0 HENTAI SHOULD BE BANNED! SAUDI ARABIA IS FINE Kukuruyo @kukuruyo I'm gonna lay out this in a simple way for those who try to respond by retweeting: If you think a drawing should be banned because what happens in it would be illegal and reprehensible if done irl, then we should ban drawings of murder, robbery, blackmail, etc IT'S A DRAWING 9:48 AM- 18 Feb 2019 UN child Sex slave business Anime

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