Youth Partnership Project (YPP)
YPP South Asia
The Youth Partnership Project for against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in South Asia is an innovative initiative designed to empower and build the capacity of experiential youth to take the lead in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Trained YPP youth in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have set up peer support programmes in schools located in high risk areas to share information and provide individualized support to prevent their peers from becoming trapped into CSEC. YPP youth trained in media and advocacy skills are reaching out to local communities through awareness campaigns in an effort to reduce the numbers of children trafficked to cities and neighboring countries. The YPP also works with trained caregivers and local organizations to give them the tools to provide quality psychosocial care for child survivors. With the support of ECPAT and YPP teams in each country, YPP youth are working to improve the lives of child survivors and persuade adults at the community, national and international level to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The YPP South Asia project is now in its second phase of implementation and is working to document successful participatory methodologies for engaging experiential and at-risk youth in peer support programmes and advocacy against CSEC, which are now being replicated in ECPAT International’s YPP Global Project.
Global Youth Partnership Project (YPP)
In 2009, ECPAT International proudly launched the ECPAT Global Youth Partnership Project against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in 13 countries across four regions where CSEC is a major problem. This global initiative for child survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and children from vulnerable communities is based on the successful South Asia YPP model and is designed to empower and build the capacity of experiential youth and children at risk to take the lead in the fight against sexual exploitation. The overall objective of the YPP is to ensure children’s right to actively and meaningfully participate particularly in social change and work against commercial sexual exploitation of children. The project aims to promote active participation of young people and have a positive impact on children and youth by increasing their resilience, confidence, creativity, self esteem and strengthen their life skills and social capital.
The global work and experience of the ECPAT International Network over the last decades has validated the important role that young people can play as key stakeholders in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) particularly when provided with relevant channels through which to contribute. Support for substantive participation requires that they be recognized less as social welfare recipients or target groups than as important actors and agents of change within programs and policies affecting them. The YPP acknowledges the important role children and youth can play in the fight against CSEC and encourages their engagement directly in the project as Youth Motivators, Peer Supporters and Youth Advocates. The YPP also seeks to strengthen ECPAT’s organizational capacity to improve the participation and the protection of young people against the grave violation of their rights by empowering at-risk children and youth and young survivors to take the lead in the fight against CSEC and Trafficking.
The Global YPP is implemented in partnership with local NGOs that are also ECPAT member organizations in 11 countries which are Moldova, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in Eastern Europe and CIS; The Gambia, Togo and Cameroon in Africa; Guatemala, Chile and Mexico in Latin Americas and Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in East Asia. For more information visit Global YPP website at www.ecpat.net/ypp_global
The participation of young people is critical in combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and integrating their experience and perspective is vital for developing appropriate measures for their protection. Children and young people must have opportunities to express their views, advocate for their own rights, assist their peers and influence decision-making on issues that affect them. In this way they can contribute to their own protection and to the overall development of their communities.
ECPAT works to build the awareness and capacity of children and young people to combat CSEC and to support their participation in all ECPAT initiatives. ECPAT supports concrete actions coordinated and implemented by children, thus a youth network has been established, together with the ECPAT International Child and Youth Advisory Committee (EICYAC). The latter is composed of regional youth representatives elected by the youth networks working with ECPAT groups around the world. ECPAT youth are represented in the governing Board of ECPAT International by a Youth Representative, who is further supported by EICYAC.