ECPAT International, a global network of organisations dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, published a country monitoring report today, outlining the status of action against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Belgium.
The report is one of a series of reports examining countries around the world and their policies and laws to protect against CSEC. ECPAT’s Belgium monitoring report looks at all of the manifestations of CSEC within the country, including child prostitution, child sexual abuse materials (child pornography) and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. In Belgium, the sexual exploitation of children still exists and both foreign-born and Belgian minors are exploited through prostitution, pornography and trafficking.
Despite a robust legal framework and the commitment of the Belgian authorities to end sexual exploitation against children, more can be done to better protect children from these heinous crimes. ECPAT's report suggests priority actions urgently needed to proactively advance the national fight against CSEC. These actions include: the adoption of a national plan of action against CSEC; improving the training of front line workers coming into contact with potential CSEC victims; increasing support for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking; and increasing child and youth participation in the fight against CSEC.
"CSEC remains in industrialised countries and Belgium is no exception. Economic crises and new technologies represent new challenges in the fight against child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes” says Acting Chair of ECPAT International, Katlijn Declercq. “Laws do exist but obstacles block their enforcement and often the best interests of the child are not taken into consideration. Beside a summary of the situation in Belgium, our report lists priority actions that we hope will serve as guidance for Belgian authorities to better protect children from sexual exploitation.”
The full report on the status of action against commercial sexual exploitation of children in Belgium is available at http://resources.ecpat.net/EI/Pdf/A4A_II/A4A_V2_EU_BELGIUM.pdf