ECPAT International

ECPAT 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. ECPAT was established in 1990 as a campaign to end child prostitution in Asian tourism. Nowadays ECPAT has widen the scope of its work to the issues of child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes and exists of more than 70 groups that are active in more than 60 countries worldwide.

ECPAT The Netherlands
ECPAT-NL exists since 1995 and as of 2003 is a cooperative with Defence for Children International The Netherlands. ECPAT-NL is supported by stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland, Plan Nederland ( the former Foster Parents Plan), Mensen in Nood/Cordaid and Kerk in Actie/Kinderen in de Knel. ECPAT-NL works closely with organisations in The Netherlands and internationally that are active against sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
ECPAT-NL is raising awareness on commercial sexual exploitation of children in Dutch society. ECPAT-NL is also lobbying for adequate and effective law enforcement and prevention and healthcare programmes regarding the prevention of sexual exploitation of children at governmental and societal level. Also the private sector, like internet service providers and the tourism industry are addressed to take responsibility to protect children from sexual exploitation. ECPAT-NL has played an important role in the development, execution and monitoring of the Dutch National Action Plan 'Sexual Abuse of children'.

Some documents on this site are available in English. For more information in English we would like to refer you to the website of ECPAT International.

NAPS English Summary
Report of the Second World Congress
Outcome document Second World Congress
Outcome document regional meeting Budapest
Prevention and healthcare programmes
Code of Conduct for the tourism industry


“Prostituted and trafficked children in Central and Eastern Europe generally are seen as criminal offenders engaging in anti-social behaviour and not as victims of exploitation. Minor victims are very harshly treated by traffickers and exploiters, but there is no specific protection within the legislation and in the law enforcement system and there are no specific provisions for care, recovery and repatriation. Therefore minors should be given priority in anti-trafficking measures.” These are the main conclusions of the ECPAT Europe Law enforcement Group, coordinated by ECPAT Netherlands, in its report ‘Joint East West Research on Trafficking in Minors for Sexual Purposes in Europe: the Sending Countries’. This research is presented at the meeting of the Stability Pact Taskforce on Trafficking in Human Beings on 24 March 2004 in Belgrade.

The Joint East West Research is a follow up of the report on receiving countries in Western Europe published in 2001. The focus in the report is on eight Central and Eastern European countries: Albania, Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. Updates were provided on the situation in eight western European countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom.
No country could provide reliable statistics on the number of children trafficked into, within, or out of their country. Numbers mentioned in the different country reports vary from a few to several hundreds. The research shows an increase in awareness on trafficking in minors and a movement towards harmonised anti-trafficking legislation in Western Europe. Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe have adopted anti-trafficking provisions in their legislation. But protection for children is weak and there is a serious lack of specific recovery programmes.

The most important recommendations from ECPAT to improve the situation of minors are:

  • Protect children in the countries of origin. Give children priority in legislation and law enforcement; criminalize the purchase of sexual services from minors and in-country trafficking; make criminal investigations of trafficking and sexual exploitation child focused.
  • All countries should research the extent and nature of child sexual exploitation in their domestic context. Common data registration systems should be developed in Europe specific to trafficked, exploited and missing minors. Each country should appoint a National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings
  • Awareness-raising, education and training must target a range of risk groups as well as professionals in combating trafficking. Media must be sensitised to the protection of children.
  • Encourage the expansion of Help Lines as well as specific programmes for shelter, recovery and repatriation. A child rights based approach should be the basis for such programmes.
  • Promote and enhance anti-trafficking multi stakeholder cooperation of government, international agencies and NGOs.

The research was co-funded by the European Commission’s STOP II program and the Oak foundation.