Location: Salvation Army building 221 E 52nd St, New York, 12th October 2023
Information about the event: https://ecpat.org/global-events-in-new-york
New York, USA – ECPAT International, in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (OSRSG VAC), PACT – Protect All Children from Trafficking and international partners, is convening a series of panels to unpack the SRSG VAC’s report on child protection in travel and tourism launched at the UN General Assembly 2023, and to engage key stakeholders in the global fight against child sexual exploitation.
The event, focusing on three interrelated thematic areas, gathers experts, business leaders, government representatives, and child advocates to share evidence-based practices and discuss actionable strategies.
Panel 1: Children’s perspectives on how tourism delivers its promises of sustainable development This panel seeks to amplify perspectives of children and young people on how tourism delivers its promises of sustainable development and to encourage adoption of child participation models in development of sustainable destinations.
Panel 2: A Journey Towards Responsibility: Travel & Transportation Industry’s Role in preventing child exploitation. This discussion will bring to the table the challenges of child protection within transportation networks, revealing how these can either be conduits of exploitation or shields of safety.
Panel 3: Investing in child and gender-sensitive protection mechanisms: engaging the Financial Sector. The panel will explore ways in which the finance sector can be involved in creating and implementing child and gender-sensitive protection mechanisms through targeted investment.
Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, will present the UN report on child protection in travel and tourism, open the event and provide closing remarks, launching a global call for action to translate these recommendations into concrete actions.
STATEMENTS FROM CONVENERS
Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children: “As travel and tourism is being rethought, we need to go further and faster to ensure the sector is truly sustainable, with child protection at its core”.
Guillaume Landry, Executive Director, ECPAT International: “The landscape of child sexual exploitation is rapidly evolving, making direct engagement with children not just ideal but essential. But real progress necessitates more than just dialogue. By championing a multisectoral approach across travel, tourism, and finance, we’re urging all stakeholders to move beyond mere acknowledgment and step into decisive action. Only through collective, urgent measures can we truly forge a safer path for children”.
Lori Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, PACT: PACT is honored to join with ECPAT International, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and global allies in hosting this innovative series of conversations about best practices to disrupt child sex trafficking and exploitation. Elevating the voices of youth, highlighting creative strategies in transportation and travel and engaging the financial sector are all crucial to developing informed policies, enhancing methods of identification and disrupting the profitability of this global criminal enterprise. This is a global crisis, and PACT welcomes the opportunity to explore global strategies that can deliver local impact to ensure every child’s right to grow up free from trafficking and exploitation.
Oscar Valverde, Executive Director of Fundación Paniamor, ECPAT member in Costa Rica: “The safety and protection of children in the development of tourism, as essential components of its sustainability, can only be ensured with their broad participation in the formulation, management and evaluation of public policies in this matter. The outcomes of the project developed in Costa Rica and Ecuador presented at the event, reflect participation experiences that reveal the possibilities and challenges that exist to ensure meaningful participation of children”.
The event steps up action towards implementing international standards and policies, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Child Rights and Business Principles.
About ECPAT International: ECPAT International stands as a united front of 126 civil society organisations spread across over 100 nations, each passionately committed to the shared vision of eradicating the sexual exploitation of children. Harnessing the power of over three decades of experience in multi-stakeholder engagement and partnership management, our expansive network operates on national, regional, and global levels. We relentlessly drive forward, fueled by the conviction that every child deserves a world free from sexual exploitation.
About PACT: PACT is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end child sexual exploitation and trafficking through education, partnerships, and legislative advocacy. PACT is a member of ECPAT International, a global network with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children around the world. For more information, visit WeArePACT.org.
About the office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (OSRSG VAC): The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children is a global independent advocate promoting the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against children. The Special Representative acts as a bridge builder and a catalyst of actions in all regions, across sectors and settings where violence against children may occur. She mobilizes political support to generate renewed concern at the harmful effects of violence on children working with Governments, national institutions, civil society organizations and children promoting behavioral and social change to end violence against children by 2030. For more Information, visit: https://violenceagainstchildren.un.org.
ECPAT International Media Contact: Andrew Beaton, Head of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
PACT Media Contact: Cécile Kirwan, Director of Communications, ckirwan@WeArePACT.org
OSRSG VAC Media Contact: Miguel Caldeira, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Communication Officer, +1-917-367-6132, email@example.com