Nairobi, Kenya—In response to the growing concern of child sexual exploitation in East and Southern Africa, ECPAT International and Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children (KAACR) are joining forces to host a regional workshop from May 9-10 2023 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. The workshop will bring together ECPAT members from Eastern and Southern Africa, along with government officials, academics, civil society representatives, and selected experts to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices to end the sexual exploitation of children.
Day one will be dedicated to the 13-country Disrupting Harm project, which aims to provide practical and actionable solutions to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation. Participants will examine ways to address root causes and risk factors of child sexual exploitation through collaborations with governments, civil society organisations, and the private sector, and identify opportunities to implement key recommendations in countries where no studies were conducted.
“Nearly a year after releasing the Disrupting Harm reports, it’s time to assess their impact and progress,” said Guillaume Landry, Executive Director at ECPAT International. “We’re thrilled to connect ECPAT members from across the region, learning from shared experiences and leveraging evidence-based advocacy to fight online child sexual exploitation and abuse.”
“Having taken lead in data collection for Disrupting Harm project in Kenya, KAACR has committed to playing a role in creating awareness on the impact of OCSEA,” said Tim Ekesa, Director at KAACR. “We feel honoured to host ECPAT members from the region and ECPAT partners to examine the key outcomes that we are harvesting as a result of the findings of the DH Research report.”
The second day of the workshop will focus on the Access to Justice initiative, which aims to address the challenges in access to justice and the right to remedies for child victims of sexual exploitation in a post-COVID era. Following a keynote address by Hon. Charity Aluoch, Chief Magistrate and Head of Children’s Court, who will represent the Chief Justice Republic of Kenya, participants will take part in panel and group discussions to exchange promising strategies to overcome barriers to the availability and effectiveness of access to justice for child victims.
“We believe this workshop represents a crucial step toward collective action to end the sexual exploitation of children in East and Southern Africa,” said Landry. “ECPAT International and KAACR hope it will facilitate a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities for improving access to justice for child victims of sexual exploitation.”