Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

As CRC turns 26, #WePROTECT Summit endorses actions to end online exploitation

Posted on Nov 20, 2015



20 NOVEMBER 2015, BANGKOK, THAILAND: Just before the world celebrates the twenty-sixth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child today, leaders from Government, industry and civil society came together to agree on a series of measures to be taken to address child sexual exploitation online.

The Convention, which has been adopted by 195 States parties, is the most ratified international human rights treaty in the world and was the first international human rights instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights entitlements for children, including special attention to the protection of children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in Article 34.

To strengthen commitments to protecting children from sexual exploitation, 169 States ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, which requires States to criminalise the offence, impose appropriate penalties, adopt child-sensitive justice, and ensure victims of sexual exploitation are afforded assistance to guarantee their full recovery and social reintegration.

Since the Convention and the Optional Protocol and OPSC were adopted, however, the world has witnessed the rapid development of information communication technologies, giving rise to new forms of sexual exploitation of children online.

To specifically address this emerging trend, high-level government officials and senior representatives from countries around the world, as well as officials from Interpol, the private sector, UN agencies and key civil society organisations, came together at the second Global #WePROTECT Summit on Ending Child Sexual Exploitation Online in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 16-17 November 2015.

Participants of the Summit pledged their support for Statements of Action and agreed on coordinated national actions to combat child sexual exploitation online, guided by the #WePROTECT Model National Response.  

The Model identifies key capabilities needed to prevent the threat, pursue offenders, support victims, and prepare interventions as part of a holistic and comprehensive response. 

Dorothy Rozga, ECPAT International Executive Director, said, “The Abu Dhabi Summit is another important step toward a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral approach to end the sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT is committed to doing its part by taking the much-needed actions set out in the Civil Society Organisations’ Statement of Action and it endorses the #WePROTECT Model National Response.”

The promises at the Summit echo world leaders’ commitments to ending the sexual exploitation of children made in September 2015 when they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The measures endorsed  at the #WePROTECT Summit are a step closer to realising the right of every child  to live free and secure from sexual exploitation, established in the Convention twenty-six years ago. 


Background information:

ECPAT is a global network of 85 organisations working together in 77 countries for the elimination of all forms of child sexual exploitation. ECPAT International has been leading the global discussion on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and is recognised as a strong and cohesive child rights advocacy network speaking on behalf of vulnerable children and child victims of sexual exploitation for over 25 years. For more information about ECPAT and its work, please visit

The Post-2015 Development Agenda, adopted in September 2015, includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 specific targets, which replace the Millennium Development Goals and are to be achieved by 2030. The SDG targets include:

5.2: ‘Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation’. 

5.3: ‘Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation’.

8.7: ‘Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour (…) by 2025’. Convention No. 182 of the International Labour Organization has clearly defined the worst forms of child labour as including the sale and trafficking of children, as well as the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution or the production of pornography.

16.2: ‘End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children’.


For more information, please contact:

France Charlet

Head of Advocacy and Communication

ECPAT International
+ 66 (0) 2 215 3388 (ext. 115)