ECPAT International

ECPAT International is a global network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate sexual exploitation such as underage sex work, online sexual abuse, and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

The strength of the ECPAT movement is based on activities at local, national and international levels.

ECPAT International encompasses 122 civil society networks across over 100 countries, all dedicated to eradicating the exploitation, prostitution, and trafficking of children. At the heart of ECPAT International’s vision is the commitment to give a voice to children who are either experiencing or are at risk of child sexual exploitation.

ECPAT International firmly believes in holding governments accountable for the implementation and enforcement of laws safeguarding the fundamental rights of children. ECPAT International proactively works towards identifying, preventing, and addressing these critical issues affecting children on a global scale.

Before the Stockholm World Congress in 1996, the ECPAT network comprised just four groups, all situated in Asia. The network’s subsequent expansion was supported by other key events such as the second Congress in Yokohama in 2001 and the World Congress III in Rio held in November 2008. Now, this diverse network encompasses large coalitions of NGOs and smaller groups dedicated to combatting the sexual exploitation of children.

The work of national and affiliate groups validates the role of the International Secretariat. Simultaneously, the international activities carried out or promoted by the Secretariat give strength and credibility to individual ECPAT network nodes. The combination provides the movement with increasing recognition and authority in international circles.

The International Secretariat, based in Bangkok, Thailand, serves as the central administrative and coordinating unit of ECPAT International. Every three years, ECPAT groups meet at the International Assembly, the organisation’s highest decision-making body. 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 serve for three years.

The ECPAT International Board members act as representatives for various geographical regions, offering guidance and supervision to the ECPAT International Secretariat. ECPAT International’s primary goal is to foster collaboration between local civil society entities and the broader child rights community, cultivating a unified global movement dedicated to shielding children from sexual exploitation. The organisation’s membership embodies a wealth of diverse experiences, knowledge, and perspectives that arise from working in vastly differing contexts.

ECPAT groups actively participate in various initiatives aimed at protecting children at local levels. Alongside this, the Secretariat provides technical support, disseminates information, and organises workshops and educational forums to enhance the exchange of knowledge among groups across different countries. The Secretariat represents the network and advocates on critical international issues.