The roots of ECPAT go back to a 1990 campaign called “End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism.” In 1996 after a global conference, those working in this campaign decided to establish a permanent NGO and change the focus of the organization to the global sexual exploitation of children in all its forms. The name ECPAT stood for “End Child Prostitution and Trafficking.” However, this name is no-longer used in full and just the initials are utilized.
Today, we are a growing network of 102 civil society organizations in 93 countries working to research and better understand this heinous crime; tackle the online sexual exploitation of children; end the trafficking of children for sexual purposes; wind-up the forced and early marriage of children; and bring a halt to the sexual exploitation of children through the travel and tourism industry.
With broad geographical coverage and a wide range of partners, we advocate for a stronger legal environment to protect children; raise awareness among the public about the problem; and help survivors and victims to come to terms with what has happened to them – and better understand their rights.
ECPAT is currently the only international NGO network solely dedicated to the fight against the sexual exploitation of children.
Since its establishment, ECPAT has won several high profile international awards, including the 2017 INTERPOL Crimes Against Children Award, the 2012 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award and the 2013 Hilton Humanitarian Prize. ECPAT International also has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
ECPAT International has a Secretariat based in Bangkok, Thailand.