It is with deep sadness that ECPAT International mourns the passing of our colleague, María Josefina Paulino Gómez, Executive Director of MAIS-ECPAT, Dominican Republic
“We all lost a great person and human rights champion, a woman who lived a life that profoundly improved the lives of others. Maria Josefina will be sorely missed, but her legacy will always prevail.”
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—With over 30 years of experience in the sector, María Josefina was and will always be a role model for all those fighting to sexual exploitation of children, especially in travel and tourism. Along with Luis Méndez, she founded MAIS-ECPAT in 1996 after attending the First World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Sweden, where she represented Latin America. Since then, she had been fiercely devoted to protecting and empowering children and adolescents at both national and regional levels. A recipient of countless accolades, Maria Josefina received the prestigious ‘Mujeres que Cambian al Mundo’ prize in 2018, in recognition of her enduring commitment and meaningful contribution to ending the sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the Dominican Republic. As a member of the ECPAT Network since 1999, she will be remembered for her brilliance, kindness, and charm.
The entire ECPAT Secretariat team, wishes to express our condolences to the family and friends of María Josefina and to all the colleagues of MAIS-ECPAT.