We are advocating for change by putting the crime of child sexual exploitation onto global, regional and national agendas. Supported by the voices of victims and survivors, we create and share research and knowledge on all forms of child sexual exploitation in the world. We challenge legal frameworks and provide recommendations to inform decisions and guide actions aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation. We strive to give child victims and survivors a voice, and have supported and trained staff in the travel and tourism sector. We do this because we believe that concerted action can change the lives of children.
Here is this year’s Annual Report, highlighting ECPAT’s accomplishments from July 2019 to June 2020.
So Much to be Proud of
During the celebration of our 30th anniversary in May this year, we not only looked back and reflected on past achievements, but we considered the challenges and opportunities that also lie ahead of us. With many changes happening throughout the world, including the enormous impact of the covid-19 pandemic on virtually all aspects of our lives, we cannot afford to delay our work — it is truly not a time to rest as children today are even more vulnerable to the different forms of sexual exploitation.
An important part of our year has been, and continues to be, influenced by the ongoing pandemic. It has affected ECPAT, our members, partners and the environment in which we operate. Though we are still navigating through the many unpredictabilities, I am proud to share that ECPAT has still accomplished so much this past year, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, network members and so many of you.
A special thanks to our donors and supporters—without you, we would not have been able to do much of our work. Your encouragement has made it possible for us to continue fighting our important fight.
Last but not least, and on behalf of the entire ECPAT team, I hope you stay healthy and safe. Our work over the past several months has shown that positive change is possible, but also that we need to step up our efforts and work collaboratively to make the world a safer place for our children.
Robbert van den Berg
Executive Director, ECPAT International
To honour our 30 years, we have looked back on the story of how we came to be. Together with our partners, we looked back at our incredible journey—starting as a small group of activists in Asia working to stop tourists from sexually exploiting children, to being the leading organisation fighting these crimes with members in over 100 countries.
Today, we pause to remember and celebrate our successes, but we cannot rest until every child is living a life free from sexual abuse and exploitation.
We gained 13 new members in the ECPAT network this year, expanding our global representation to eight new countries! We are currently present in 103 countries through our 121 members.
A major goal of the ECPAT network is to ensure that we are the leading network on all different aspects of the sexual exploitation of children. To ensure this, we have developed a system to map the work our members do, as well as the different manifestations of child sexual abuse and exploitation they may specialise in. By understanding the scope of their work, we can identify strengths and gaps to continue to grow our expertise where it is most needed.
Our members have been quick to adjust their work to ensure they can carry on despite the limitations during covid-19. As many people are struggling to cope with the consequences of the pandemic, members have adapted their work to support their communities and help with relief operations. In the Philippines, for example, young women and children living at a care home run by ECPAT Philippines have gathered to sew cloth masks to distribute to those that need them most.
Despite some of the challenges that came with the covid-19 pandemic, ECPAT International maintained and built on our reputation as an important global player in the fight to stop the sexual exploitation of children. I am proud of our team’s hard work, commitment and passion as we were able to achieve so much within just one year.
– Robbert van den Berg, Executive Director
ECPAT International’s Internship Programme is a unique opportunity for recent graduates and young professionals to learn about the organisation and gain practical training and skills in the fields of child protection, advocacy and research. Our interns come from all over the globe and have diverse backgrounds—such as communications, design, fundraising and human rights research, just to name a few. Unfortunately, it has been paused to accommodate the pandemic. However, we are happy that we could turn this situation around by keeping the valuable perspectives and contributions from our former interns through home-based consultancies. 🌟
It has been a privilege and an honour to Intern for ECPAT International. I’ve learnt so much in six months and the experience I’ve gained is so unique to the organisation.
– Freddie Nickolds, Former Research Intern
We saw yet another year of support from our donors, and their generosity has made it possible to continue our important work to protect children from sexual exploitation. Thank you.