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Act Now

We need your help. Take action now and make Aotearoa a safer place for our tamariki and rangatahi.

Let’s work together to end the sexual of exploitation of children.

There are many ways you can make a difference to a child’s life, including volunteering, advocating, and donating. Here are actions you can take right now that will support ECPAT NZ’s mission of upholding the fundamental rights for children to be free from all forms of sexual exploitation.

Sign ECPAT NZ’s petition

Vote for us

Join our call to establish a dedicated trafficking and exploitation helpline in Aoteaora.

Aotearoa should be a safe place for all children. All people deserve to be safe and free from exploitation, and have accessible pathways to get support when they experience harm. This is why we have started an ActionStation petition calling the government of Aotearoa to allocate resources for the establishment and operation of a dedicated helpline for victims of trafficking and exploitation that is run by an independent non-government organisation.

Use your voting power! Help ECPAT NZ’s MyGivingCircle page to reach 2,000 votes and get a share of $500,000.

MyGivingCircle is an international social enterprise committed to helping charities like us access grants through a free-to-use voting system, and grow our supporter base by featuring us on their platforms. Register for a free account, set a reminder to vote for ECPAT NZ once a week (for free) – and spread the word! Like signing our petition, everyone who has access to a device can support us in this way.

 1 in 3 of detected trafficking victims are children

(UNODC)

Why is signing our petition important?

In Aotearoa, too many of us still maintain the public narrative that trafficking and exploitation doesn’t happen here, but it does. Both cross-border and domestic trafficking is happening in the country, to both children and adults. ECPAT NZ and government agencies such as the Department of Internal Affairs and NZ Police are seeing an increasing number of reports (particularly concerning online child exploitation), and we need a better way of addressing all types of exploitation.

Anyone who is being exploited deserves a clear understanding of where to best report their experiences and how to access support.

As stated in the 2022 Trafficking in Persons report produced by the US State Department, “the Government of New Zealand does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” and does not yet have a national referral mechanism in place, which includes a dedicated helpline. Currently, exploitation victim-survivors in Aotearoa need to figure out which of the many helplines for migrant exploitation, labour exploitation, sexual violence and child abuse applies to their situation so that they can get more information on how to navigate forward.

The Slave Check Foundation’s 2024 research, which involved 12 adult survivors from Aotearoa and Australia, revealed alarming gaps in recognition and response when victims sought help. All the survivors who took part in the research wanted a dedicated helpline and reported that the existing helplines confuse them. A staggering 60% of surveyed survivors reported that initial attempts to seek assistance from organisations such as the police, medical agencies, or helplines did not result in recognition of their situation being exploitative.

What is the impact of a dedicated helpline?

Victims of exploitation and trafficking face many barriers to reporting and/or receiving support, including a lack of awareness and tailored, trauma-informed support. A dedicated and centralised helpline system would simplify how victims of trafficking and exploitation can seek help and align Aotearoa with international best practice for addressing exploitation and trafficking.

Establishing this dedicated helpline, monitored by highly trained people who can deliver streamlined, trauma-informed support and information, will lead to:

  1. increased reporting of exploitation
  2. safeguarding individuals who are in, or vulnerable to exploitative situations
  3. more accurate and representative data of the scale of the issue and information for intervention and prevention targets and strategies.

The predicted increase in reporting through this more accessible helpline will also create more vulnerability for victim-survivors if wrap-around services are not available. ECPAT NZ recognises that this needs to be a key priority in the development of a dedicated helpline and referral system.

We believe the helpline should offer multiple access points including phone, web, chatbot, and text. Given the known mistrust and anxiety associated with reporting via government channels, we are also advocating that the helpline be administered by a non-government organisation.

Make a Difference

Provide support today to help change the lives of our vulnerable children.