ECPAT NZ’s work allows us to engage at a community level and feed insights into national and international decision-making and work towards an increase in government efforts to address all forms of child exploitation. This is all done with the aim of fostering a safer environment for tamariki and rangatahi in Aotearoa.

ECPAT NZ advocates at a national and international level to stop tamariki and rangatahi from being sexually exploited. With Aotearoa maintained at “not yet meeting minimum standards” in the 2023 Trafficking in Person’s report, there is an urgent need for continued advocacy so that pressure is exerted on the Aotearoa Government to act on its commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against tamariki, including commercial sexual exploitation.

We contribute to top-down accountability by submitting on public consultations, being engaged in United Nations (UN) reviews, contributing to reports and being a member of multiple national-level working groups. For example, ECPAT NZ made submissions for the 2020 draft Plan of Action Against Forced Labour, People Trafficking and Slavery and the 2021 Plan of Action for Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

Our international advocacy has included presenting at the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child on the Optional Protocol for the Sale of Children, and providing written and in-person submissions to relevant UN reporting mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review and The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

ECPAT NZ sits on a number of multi-agency groups such as the Human Trafficking Research Coalition and the Modern Slavery and Labour Exploitation Advocacy Group. This group is made up of non-governmental stakeholders but has government agencies as ‘observers’ including agencies such as MBIE who lead the anti-trafficking plan of action. We also contribute to international reports such as the Trafficking in Persons Report, and produce internal reports which in turn, contribute to publications such as the Common Protect review of legal systems across the Commonwealth.

An important part of advocacy is in being able to provide a perspective from those working on this issue at a community level. This comes largely from our various projects with social workers as well as supporting or partnering with organisations such as Rape Prevention Education, Netsafe, Youthline and many others.

We contribute to national planning and policy, often through consultation, and we are in direct contact with MPs and their policy advisors drafting relevant bills and we support political parties seeking to set their own policy around such issues.