Today, our campaign has evolved into the world’s largest influencing network solely focused on ending the sexual exploitation of children, with a membership of 122 civil society organisations in 104 countries.
Our global campaign to end child sexual exploitation was launched when a small group of concerned individuals gathered in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand in May 1990, and organisations from across the globe started listening to their call and supporting their actions. Since then, ECPAT has worked to better understand the problem of child sexual exploitation through research and push for the critical systemic and social changes necessary to end this problem with governments, intergovernmental institutions, the private sector, civil society and the general public, including children themselves. ECPAT has organized and co-sponsored three Global Congresses (Stockholm 1996, Yokohama 2001 and Rio De Janeiro 2008) which has firmly placed the issue of child sexual exploitation on the agendas of global leaders and decision makers.
ECPAT is supported by an international secretariat to develop new knowledge on the ever evolving issue of child sexual exploitation, provide a platform for exchange and knowledge transfer amongst the membership, facilitate the development of joint strategies, coordinate our collective effort, and maximize our impact.
The ECPAT Secretariat is based in Bangkok and we are grateful and proud to have some of the most experienced experts in the field of child protection, research, programming, communications and network coordination as part of our Secretariat team.
Violence against children, including sexual exploitation and abuse, affects an estimated one billion children worldwide and ECPAT’s research has concluded that no country or region is ‘immune’. Sexual violence against children is a growing and increasingly complex crime. It happens to children from all socioeconomic groups, of all educational levels, across all ethnic and cultural groups, and in different geographic settings.
To end these crimes, knowledge, and evidence must be of the highest possible quality to inform our decisions and guide targeted action and activities. ECPAT continues to conduct primary research, as well as bringing together information from various sectors and countries around the world, to form a reliable and professional range of academic sources.
ECPAT also offers information for children to understand their rights, gain access justice, and find medical, psychological, and social support services in case they are affected by sexual exploitation and abuse. We connect adult survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation to work together to heal as a global community of advocates.
This strategic framework outlines this context and what needs to be done to make progress towards a world where all children are free from sexual exploitation.
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