2016 Year of Action

The Year of Action is about reenergising the global commitment to ending sexual exploitation of children.


2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the first World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and the 10th anniversary of the UN violence study. It is also the first year of implementation of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

There could not be a better time to remind the world of the need to protect children from sexual exploitation.

Throughout the year ECPAT’s members and partners will come together to demand action!

“Let’s end child sexual exploitation in our generation!”

2017 Key Events

Human Rights Council: Annual Day on the Rights of the Child

7 March

This year’s theme for the Annual Day on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council was “information and communications technology and child sexual exploitation”. Members of Child Rights Connect provided technical input and support for the organisation of the day and ECPAT showed a new video presenting the voices of victims of sexual exploitation online.

Meeting on the Global Goals in South Asia

14 – 15 March

A high‐level meeting was held on the implementation of the SDGs in South Asia. The meeting was hosted in Colombo by the Government of Sri Lanka and was jointly organised by the Regional Secretariat of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC - an apex body of SAARC), ECPAT International and UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia. Specific targets were analysed through the South Asian lens, with a focus on prevalence, policy frameworks, social and structural challenges, and opportunities to affect long-lasting change.

Launch of Global Study on Child Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism

12 and 13 May

The Global Study on Child Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (SECTT) was launched at high level events in Washington DC, Stellenbosch, Bangkok and New-York City. Partners from around the world and across sectors came together to create the largest repository of information ever collected on the issue. The Global Study reveals the extent of SECTT, what motivates it, the evolving trends and concrete recommendations for action. The global launch will be followed by a series of communication and advocacy events at national and regional levels. Presentation of the Global Study at UNWTO regional consultations started in April and will continue throughout 2016. Find out more at www.globalstudysectt.org

Launch of Global Terminology Guidelines

14 June

The Terminology Guidelines for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse were launched in Geneva by the Interagency Working Group (IWG). Known as the ‘Luxembourg Guidelines’, the Terminology Guidelines are now available to all major child protection agencies and organisations around the world, as well as lawmakers and media and offer practical guidance on navigating the complex lexicon of terms commonly used relating to the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. They are available at: www.luxembourgguidelines.org

21st International Congress for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

28 - 31 August

The 21st International Congress for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect took place in Calgary, Canada. The 2016 Congress theme was Protecting our Children, Protecting our Future. A one-day symposium during the Congress focused on child sexual exploitation.

20th anniversary of the first World Congress

30 August

30 August 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the first World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. Twenty years ago in partnership with UNICEF and the NGO Group for the Rights of the Child (now known as Child Rights Connect), ECPAT co-organised this groundbreaking event in Stockholm, Sweden. The Congress made history by bringing together governments, civil society organisations, and media from 122 countries to put a spotlight on ending CSEC. During the week of 30 August 2016, ECPAT's members worldwide celebrated this anniversary on social media by posting and sharing commitments and wishes to end CSEC.

Global Survivors' Forum

18 November

ECPAT International convened the first-ever global virtual forum for adult survivors of childhood sexual exploitation. The landmark Global Survivors’ Forum provided a platform and gave a stronger voice to survivors from around the globe. The Forum was held on 18th November to coincide with the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

20 November

Throughout 2016, Arigatou International, Prayer and Action for Children, the World Council of Churches and other faith based organisations partnered with ECPAT, UNICEF and others to encourage a multi-faith dialogue and related actions on child sexual exploitation.

Project Partners