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A message to ECPAT from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, has shared with us a special message. To commemorate our 30th anniversary, she honoured our work and how it enables victims and survivors to make their voices heard, the strength and spread of our network and how we bring light to aspects of problems that are neglected—such as sexual exploitation in travel and tourism and the sexual exploitation of boys. Here’s her full message.


As the world goes through a time of great uncertainty, it is important to celebrate good news when we can. It therefore gives me great pleasure to congratulate ECPAT on its 30th anniversary.

ECPAT and its global network have been true leaders in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT has shown great vision. It has enabled victims and survivors to make their voices heard. It has created and mobilized partnerships, bringing together everyone from law enforcement to the private sector. It has shone a light on aspects of the problem that were neglected, such as sexual exploitation in travel and tourism and the sexual exploitation of boys. And — most importantly — ECPAT has achieved change on the ground.

ECPAT and the network have been true leaders in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children.

But we know the work must continue. The face of child sexual exploitation keeps changing. I know that ECPAT is ready to meet new challenges as they emerge, whether from technological innovations online or from unexpected threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. I have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with ECPAT through my work as Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children and as former chair of the high-level advocacy task force on the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, which launched The Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism in 2016. And now, as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, I look forward to continuing this deep and close cooperation.

I know that ECPAT is ready to meet new challenges as they emerge, whether from technological innovations online or from unexpected threats like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together, we can realize the promise of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography – a Protocol that marks its 20th anniversary this year. Together, we can ensure that the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development becomes a reality, leaving no child behind. Together, we can stop the sexual exploitation of children in all settings. Together, we can stop this crime!

 

– Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

 


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Learn more about ECPAT’s 30-year history.
The ECPAT Network reaches 100 countries!