The ECPAT International Assembly in November 2011 brought together the world's leading experts on protecting childern from commercial sexual exploitation. The unique opportunity for mutual learning and experience sharing focussed on building global action, commitment and solidarity and involved 200 participants from 75 countries. Presenters included Dr. Najat M'jid Maalla the UN special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography; Ms. Martha Santos Pais, UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Violence Against Children. Mr. Jaap E. Doek, former Chair of the Committe on the Rights of the Child. Sophie Flak from Accor, Ms. Patricia Cartes from Facebook and Christopher Davis from The Body Shop.
The assembly was the largest global gathering of experts on commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) since the proclamation of the Rio de Janeiro and Call to Action to Prevent and Stop Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in 2008. The Assembly re-confirmed the committment of the ECPAT global network to end CSEC, and set out a strategy for the next three years as a prelude to mid-term monitoring of the Rio Declaration, which has time-bound goals to 2016. Member groups also elected the Board of Trustees who will steward ECPAT International through this important upcoming period.
ECPAT founder Ron O'Grady gave a presentation on the history of the organisation, describing pivotal episodes in its development and the key principles that have united the network since its founding in 1991 as a campaign to End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism, based in Bangkok. Discussions took place on topical areas that affect ECPAT groups around the world. There was an animated discussion of how the ECPAT network can continue to fight CSEC and adapt its approaches where required, to the various new legislative and technological contexts.Panels and discussions groups highlighted good practices and lessons learnt from these grass-roots and country-led initiatives were shared. Several survivors and youth outreach workers shared their stories of escaping the cycle of exploitation and helping their peers to do the same.
In addition, the last two years have seen groups from all over the world join together for ECPAT and The Body Shop's 'Stop Sex Trafficking of the Children and Young People' campaign, which resulted in one of the biggest human trafficking rights petition ever submitted to the UN and changes in the law of at least 12 countries, with the committment to change from several others. Many of these groups shared their experiences and explained how they had made this campaign so successful.
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ECPAT International Assembly 2011 Reports
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