ECPAT Belgium - A Short History
ECPAT international was born in 1990 in the form of a campaign to fight against the sexual exploitation of children in Asian tourism. Five years later, in spite of the favourable reception of that campaign, the phenomenon of the sexual exploitation of children was growing and wasn’t only limited to Asia. ECPAT therefore extended its work to Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa and the United States. In 1996, with the aid of the Swedish government and UNICEF, ECAPT invited 122 countries to the first World Congress against the Sexual Exploitation of Children. The governments approved an Agenda for Action. This agenda gave a framework for realizing the articles concerning the sexual exploitation of children contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes.) is now recognized as an international NGO which fights against child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children.
ECPAT Belgium began in 1993 at the initiative of a number of NGOs working in development or dealing with human rights and the rights of the child. These Belgian organizations, working together, developed legal, educational and political actions. A particular emphasis is put on influencing the tourism sector, young people themselves, the judiciary and the authorities.
- Is the officially recognized Belgian member of ECPAT International and collaborates with different national ECPAT groups at European and International level.
- Is a national network of organizations, associations, committees and individuals who fight for the defense of human rights and the rights of the child.
- Is a pluralistic network which fights for the end of sexual exploitation of children; which advocates for an equitable North-South political situation and is committed to responsible development, which is sustainable and participative for the countries of the South.
- Works in different ways to address the issue of the sexual exploitation of children (Child prostitution, trafficking in children, child pornography.) and the role of international tourism.
- Confirms the right of the child to take their fate into their own hands as is described in the Declaration of the United Nations regarding the rights of the Child.
- Aspires to a real and active participation by young people and children in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children.
- Bases its work on the Universal declaration of Human Rights, the Convention regarding the Rights of the Child and the Agenda for Action approved during the World Congress against the Sexual Exploitation of Children (Stockholm, 1996)
- Promotes, by lobbying and contacts with those Belgian and European authorities in charge, a real application of the different treaties which relate to the rights of the child.
- To raise public awareness of the causes and consequences of the sexual exploitation of children for commercial ends, both at the world and national levels.
- To unite the forces of all organizations and democratic institutions which fight against the sexual exploitation of children and for human rights and the rights of the child.
- To collaborate with the authorities, with industry, tourism, the police service and judiciary in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children, the trafficking of children and child pornography.