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Child Rights Experts Convene in Taiwan

Posted on Aug 25, 2014

25 AUGUST 2014, TAIPEI, TAIWAN/BANGKOK, THAILAND: ECPAT International’s Regional Consultation on Action to Stop the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in East and Southeast Asia kick-starts today in Taipei, Taiwan. 

The three-day long Regional Consultation brings together key stakeholders, partner organisations that work against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and ECPAT member groups from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.  

The Regional Consultation will identify priorities and strategies for the ECPAT Network in East and Southeast Asia, which will inform ECPAT International Strategic Directions 2015-2018. Furthermore, it will be a platform for groups to share best practices that have the potential to be scaled up across the region. 

Mr. Ahmad Sofian, Regional Representative for East and Southeast Asia to the ECPAT International Board of Trustees said on the occasion "many children in East and Southeast Asian countries have become targets for the exploitation of children in travel and tourism. Consequently, the number of child victims of sexual exploitation in the region is alarming. An immediate initiative is needed to raise public awareness of the issue to enable us end the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the region."

According to Ms. Li-Feng Lee, Secretary General of ECPAT Taiwan, “combating sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, sex trafficking of children, and perpetrators using internet and mobile phone to facilitate the sexual abuse of children, requires significant cooperation within the region. Ending commercial sexual exploitation of children is not only the responsibility of governments and civil society organisations, but also of the duty of the private sector. There should be greater joint action against such crimes, mutual legal assistance to punish perpetrators, and assistance for child victims and survivors.”

Ms. Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director of ECPAT International, observed in her opening speech that “even if some instruments and measures have been put in place by states, governments and civil society organisations in the region, the threats of commercial sexual exploitation of children has become more serious than what it was in the early 1990s, when ECPAT was first founded in this region.”  

Children in East and Southeast Asia, specially marginalised children, are still victims of or are at risk to be trafficked and exploited to forced, early and child marriage, child prostitution and other forms of violent and abusive circumstances.

Ms. Rozga called upon all relevant stakeholders, governments, civic society organisations, ECPAT member groups, agencies and partner organisations, to work towards a more effective and aligned response to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children in East and Southeast Asia. 

Invited guests and speakers attending the opening session, included honourable Mr. Charles Chao-Cheng Li, Deputy Director General of NGO International Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Taiwan; Mr. Ahmad Taufan Damanik, Vice Chair of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Women and Children and Indonesia’s Representative for Children’s Rights to the ACWC; and Prof. Bernard Kao, Vice Chair of the Board of ECPAT Taiwan and Dean of the College of Law and Politics at the National Chung Hsing University.

ECPAT member organisations will identify, formulate and agree upon key priority strategic directions for the region based on the consultations.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in East and Southeast Asia
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a fundamental violation of children’s rights. Recent study reports by ECPAT International show that all forms of commercial sexual exploitation – child prostitution, trafficking, sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and child pornography – are prevalent in East and Southeast Asia. 

The violation of the rights of children and the violent abuse of children, inherent in Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) cases, can have a long-term impact on the health, well-being and potential of the child. Despite a heightened awareness of the problem and engagement on the part of government, international organisations and other stakeholders in recent years, large number of children in East and Southeast Asia continue to be under the threat of commercial sexual exploitation. 

In most cases, children pushed into prostitution, trafficking, early, forced and child marriage and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation were marginalised children.

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For more information, please contact:

Dorothy Rozga,                                                     
Executive Director                                         
ECPAT International                                          
Tel: + 66 (0) 2 215 3388               
Bangkok, Thailand                                   

Li-Feng Lee
Secretary General
ECPAT Taiwan  
Tel: +886 (0) 935 526 716  
Taipei, Taiwan

Amanuel Teferi
Communications and Advocacy Manager
ECPAT International 
Tel: + 66 (0) 2 215 3388
Bangkok, Thailand

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