Children are exploited everywhere. With increasing ease of travel, new technologies and rising migration and displacement, a concerted global effort is necessary to ensure that children are protected wherever they are.
The First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996, marked the first public recognition by governments of the existence of CSEC and resulted in a commitment to a global Declaration and Agenda for Action to address the problem. The Agenda calls for global action to protect their right to live free from sexual exploitation.
“Every child is entitled to full protection from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse... States are required to protect the child from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and promote physical and psychological recovery and social integration of the child victim.” ( Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action)
The Yokahama Commitment from the Second World Congress in Yokohama, Japan in 2001, reaffirmed the need for efforts to be increased to ensurie positive change for children.
Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2008, the Third World Congress (WCIII) provided a vital channel for reviewing global commitments to combating sexual exploitation of children and to galvanize international will and support for the concrete action required to guarantee the protection of children and adolescents. 137 governments, representatives from civil society, UN agencies, international and intergovernmental organisations, the private sector, children and young people as well as new actors, including representatives from industry, religious leaders, ombudspersons from several countries, and First Ladies participated in WCIII. The WCIII resulted in the The Rio de Janeiro Declaration and Call for Action to Prevent and Stop Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents.
A priority task for governments in implementing the Agenda for Action is the development of National Plans of Action (NPA) against CSEC. An NPA is the first tangible indication of a country’s commitment to ending exploitation.