Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Launch of the Global Boys Initiative: Boys In Bolivia Report

Posted on Aug 9, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: 9 August 2022


How are rigid social norms, interlocking vulnerabilities, and legislative gaps placing boys in Bolivia at risk of sexual exploitation?

BOLIVIAIn collaboration with Consorcio ECPAT Bolivia and as part of ECPAT International’s Global Boys Initiative, ECPAT International is proud to announce the release of the Global Boys Initiative: Bolivia Report. This is the eighth 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. 

Conducted in the form of detailed surveys, with Bolivian frontline service providers, this report provides a comprehensive analysis of how the Bolivian legal framework addresses the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys. The report explores which factors put boys in Bolivia at risk of sexual exploitation, uncovers gaps in child protection legislation, and outlines what needs to change. 

Key findings discussed in the report include: 

  • The discriminatory attitudes that young people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (diverse-SOGIE) face in Bolivia and how it exposes them to increased risk of sexual exploitation.
    While homosexuality is legal in Bolivia, SOGIE youth still experience discrimination that can leave them vulnerable to sexual exploitation. 
  • How societal prejudice against boys being perceived as homosexual can deter them from reporting crimes and seeking support services.
    How guilt and shame can mean that victims feel responsible for the abuse that they have been subjected to—further discouraging them from seeking help. 
  • The extent of the lack of support services in Bolivia for boys.
    When support services exist, they are not tailored to the unique trajectories of boys and can negatively impact the road to recovery and reintegration. 
  • How statutory limitations for child sexual exploitation crimes hamper prosecuting child sexual exploitation crimes.
    Research shows that —especially in the case of boys—sexually exploited children do not disclose their abuse immediately. 


Read the full report here.
Read the summary here.

For more information, please contact: 


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 Consorcio ECPAT Bolivia: 

Consorcio ECPAT Bolivia is formed by Pastoral de Movilidad Humana (PHM) and Fundación Munasim Kullakita (FMK), two of the leading non-governmental organisations in Bolivia working against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). They are also co-chairs of Mesa El Alto contra la Violencia Sexual Comercial, a coalition of governmental and non-governmental organisations that lobbied for the legal reforms in 2011 on CSEC and trafficking in persons in Bolivia, and has since continued to coordinate actions nationwide on the issue.