As in past World Congresses, adolescents and youth will play an extremely important role in the World Congress III. A Commission has been set up comprising of representatives from UNICEF, ECPAT International, Save the Children and the Government of Brazil to make appropriate preparations for the participation of children and adolescents at the World Congress III. A preparatory meeting will also be held for the participating children and adolescents to help them prepare for their participation at the World Congress III.
The Consultation Tool for the WORLD CONGRESS III:
The consultation tool can be accessed online and downloaded, printed and mailed in to the ECPAT Secretariat. It gives young people the opportunity to answer questions about past participation and experiences at World Congresses, and what young people can expect and would like to suggest for upcoming World Congress III.
What is the age range of the participating children, adolescent and youth?
The age range for participating children and adolescents is 12-17 years of age. Similarly youth, between the ages 18-25 will also be invited to participate alongside the adults and they will have more of a “mentoring” role.
How many children and adolescents are expected to participate at the World Congress III?
The Government of Brazil is very keen for the young people to play an active role throughout the Congress. There will be approximately 300 children and adolescents participating at the World Congress, 150 from Brazil and 150 representing the international community. Youth will be allocated spaces under the adult category. It is expected that there will be many events /forums organised by young people to share their experiences and knowledge at the Congress such as:
• Preparatory meeting for children and young people to prepare for their participation at the Congress;
• Cultural events;
• Workshops on Thematic Sessions conducted by young people; and
• Exhibits and other exciting events.
Child and Youth Participation in the World Congress III
Child and Youth Participation (CYP) is an important part of ECPAT’s work in combating sexual exploitation and protecting children. Developing the participation of young people in combating commercial sexual exploitation of children is an integral part of ECPAT’s work at national, regional and international levels. It strengthens our programming and advocacy and makes us more accountable to the children to whom we serve. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child values the child as a citizen, entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms, capable of expressing opinions, participating in life and assuming responsibilities in the family and society. The participation of children and young people occur at a variety of levels within the global network. From the design, development, management and monitoring of programs at the grassroots level to policy influencing and advocacy at national, regional and international levels.
Various other opportunities for participation before, during and after the World Congress include:
They will be provided with various opportunities to feed into WC III processes as active participants; such as:
• Adolescents and Youth engaged in National and Regional level processes leading to the World Congress III
• Adolescents and Youth engaged in regional level processes and/or thematic meetings leading to the World Congress III
• Adolescents and Youth engaged as active participants at the World Congress III (including a preparatory forum for the adolescents)
• Adolescents and Youth actively engaged in the follow up of the World Congress III
What are the key considerations being given to the selection children, adolescents and youth?
• Focus on linking up with existing child and youth initiatives in the region to ensure meaningful participation within the Congress itself, as well as better possibilities of follow-up after the Congress.
• Aim for greater representation and substantive participation of a core group of children and youth who are either at-risk or survivors of CSEC and directly involved in advocacy work.
• Give priority to those children and young people who are already actively involved in various projects and programmes against CSEC and trafficking within their shelters, schools and wider communities.
• Give young people the mandate to discuss and present their experiences and perspectives on the issue of sexual exploitation, focusing on solutions to the issue rather than their personal experiences of abuse and exploitation.
• Clearly define objectives and the process for children, adolescent and youth participation at the World Congress III.
• Ensure a robust child protection framework to promote safe and meaningful participation of children, including upholding of ethical issues (such as confidentiality issues, etc.) related to their participation at the regional preparatory meetings and at the World Congress III.
• Regional Meetings will be the platform for the selection of children and adolescents participating at the World Congress III.
How can a wider audience of children and adolescents provide inputs into the World Congress III preparations?
• Visit the online Consultation Tool and have your say!
ECPAT International’s Child and Youth Advisory Committee (EICYAC) and the Secretariat prepared two online consultation tools to get input from wider groups of young people. These are:
• Consultation Tool on the Process of Participation for Young People at the Congress; and
(Link to EICYAC website to the Congress Consultation Tool)
• Consultation Tool on the Thematic Sessions of the Congress.
(In the process of being uploaded, please visit this space again!)
You can also help get input from other children and youth in your community, as not all children and youth speak English or have access to Internet by:
• Printing out the consultation tools and translating them into local languages and get help input from other children and youth in your community, school and country
• Print out the consultation tools and conduct workshops with children and youth in your community, school and country so that they can provide their input into the Congress processes.
• Using workshops or training sessions to identify regional themes and priorities on CSEC issues that they would like to highlight at the World Congress III.
• Work with ECPAT groups in your country to engage governments, NGOs, wider groups of children and young people to discuss the Congress and the preparation process, hold meetings, round table discussions etc.
• Work with ECPAT groups in your country to engage the government, NGOs and children in preparing the official report for the Congress and in planning for input to other forums of the Congress as each country will need to present a detailed report on their work since the last World Congress.
• Find out through your local ECPAT group (link to ECPAT website on ECPAT member groups) or the EICYAC Representative (link to EICYAC Website to Contact Page) in your region ways in which you can get involved in national and regional preparatory processes.
What is EICYAC ….?!
EICYAC stands for ECPAT International Child and Youth Advisory Committee
Who we are….
We are a group of young people from all over the world who fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC)
EICYAC is affiliated with a wider network called ECPAT (End Child Prostitution Pornography and Trafficking of children for sexual purposes) that consists of 84 organisations in 75 countries
EICYAC members are aged between 16 and 25 years old and have knowledge of CSEC, mainly through their connection with regional ECPAT groups or other NGO’s
Why we are important…
EICYAC fights for a world in which no child is commercially sexually exploited and we ensure that children and young people can be involved in this fight, by linking up with youth groups and working to include those who have experienced CSEC and as well as those at risk.
We want to make sure that policymakers listen to children and youth - the real experts on this matter - to come up with better solutions.