PRESS RELEASE: 1 August 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BELGIUM—ECPAT’s latest report seeks to understand how comprehensive Belgium’s national legislation is in protecting children, particularly boys, from sexual exploitation.
In collaboration with ECPAT Belgium and as part of ECPAT International’s Global Boys Initiative, the Belgium Report is the sixth in a series of ten country reports that explores the underreported issue of the sexual exploitation of boys. The Global Boys Initiative aims to improve global knowledge and inform legislative efforts to protect boys and gender diverse children from sexual exploitation.
This research was conducted in the form of a comprehensive analysis of the Belgian legal framework in relation to various crimes related to the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, with a focus on boys. The report identifies gaps in Belgium’s legislation and outlines recommendations for improvement. Key findings from the report include:
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About the Global Boys Initiative:
At the 2016 Global Survivors Forum organised by ECPAT International, male survivor-advocates of sexual exploitation explained that services for boys were extremely rare, and even where services may include boys in their work, there is limited focus on addressing the specific characteristics, experiences and supports required by boys.
In 2019 to delve into this, ECPAT co-authored an academic paper that looked at the global situation of sexual exploitation of boys. It showed that despite a growing global awareness that boys do experience sexual exploitation, and at greater rates than previously recognised, there is limited research available to fully tell this story.
As the programmatic responses to identify and meet the particular needs of boys are scarce, ECPAT International launched the Global Initiative to explore the sexual exploitation of boys which activates our global network of member organisations in a range of research and response activities.
Learn more about the Global Boys Initiative here.
About ECPAT International:
ECPAT International is a global network of over 122 civil society organisations, in over 100 countries, working towards the vision of ending the sexual exploitation of children. With over 30 years of experience in engaging with and managing multi-stakeholder processes and alliances across national, regional and global levels; ECPAT works to end the sexual exploitation of children.
About ECPAT Belgium:
ECPAT Belgium was established in 1994 and is a coalition of more than 30 NGOs working on the issue of human rights, child rights and development. ECPAT Belgium specialises in the areas of combating child sex tourism and trafficking of children, assisting at-risk youth, increasing youth participation, and stemming demand for the commercial sexual exploitation of children.