A Global Network Fighting Crime
ECPAT International is a global network of organisations and individuals working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. It seeks to encourage the world community to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
The ECPAT network is composed of ECPAT groups based all over the world; the International Board, elected by the International Assembly; and the International Secretariat. In 1996, the network consisted of 17 groups. By 1999, it had grown to 53 groups and, in 2007, there are over 80 groups in more than 70 countries. ECPAT groups are very diverse: some are large coalitions of NGOs; some are small groups composed of individuals. Some groups have activities covering a wide range of CSEC issues while others concentrate on only one aspect.
The International Secretariat is the administrative and coordinating unit of ECPAT International and is based in Bangkok, Thailand. Every three years, the ECPAT groups meet at the International Assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the organisation. The International Board, composed of eight regional representatives from all continents, together with an independent Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and Youth representative, are elected at the Assembly and normally serve for three years.
ECPAT International Board Meets in Taiwan, 2010.The Board members represent each of the geographical regions and provides oversight for the ECPAT International Secretariat – the network’s coordinating office located in Bangkok. ECPAT works to build collaboration among local civil society actors and the broader child rights community to form a global social movement for protection of children from sexual exploitation. Its membership reflects the richness and diversity of experience, knowledge and perspectives that arise from working in widely different contexts.
ECPAT groups are involved in implementation of various initiatives to protect children at local levels, while the Secretariat provides technical support and information, and holds workshops and other educational forums to extend and exchange knowledge among groups in different countries. It also represents and advocates on key issues at the international level on behalf of the network. To learn more about ECPAT International, visit www.ecpat.net