I say STOP ! is a new tool to combat the impunity of those who take advantage their travel to sexually exploit children abroad. The website facilitates the reporting of suspicious situations and consequently will enable to bring more cases to the attention of the competent authorities.
Report suspicious situations of child exploitation can only be done with the help of those who are on the ground, travelers and tourism professionals ! Yet, travelers who want to help face many obstacles, even if judicial measures do exist. Most of the European Union's Member States have passed extraterritorial laws in order to prosecute offenders, even though the sexual abuse has been committed abroad. This is why ECPAT Belgium & the STOP Group have developed the website "I say STOP !" so that travelers can help make these laws enforced and prosecute the offenders.
I say STOP! also aims to increase awareness among public opinion and Belgian authorities about the persistence of this phenomenon, providing advice whether you are a tourist, a business man, a tourism professional or simply someone interested in fighting child prostitution. I say STOP ! will explain to you how to report, act, bear witness, support or relay information on this campaign.
Child sexual exploitation is a serious crime that affects millions of children around the world. In the past decades, initiatives have been taken, such as the World Congresses against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, the International Child Rights Day, the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, that have shed light on the achieved progress but more importantly on the long way to go still. In fact, the growing number of travelers, the development of new technologies, the global economic crisis are all factors that increase the risk of children being sexually exploited.
The feeling of being anonymous, exotic holidays, the apparent maturity of the children or the feeling of impunity provide all kinds of wrong justifications to child sex tourism. To raise awareness among travelers on the reality of the commercial sexual exploitation of children is one way to make them realise the extent of this fundamental violation of children's rights.
This campaign falls within the framework of a larger project at the European level, Don't Look Away!
Thus the website www.reportchildsextourism.eu brings together the Belgian reporting line I say STOP ! with all other similar national platforms in the EU.
I say STOP! is an initiative of the STOP Group composed by the Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Service for Criminal Policy, the Defense, the Federation of the Tourism Industry, FEBETRA (Belgian Carriers Federation), Plan Belgium, Child Focus, the Samilia Foundation and ECPAT Belgium. The website has been developed by Now.be and sponsored by Accor Belgium, Data Translations, Tui, Mindstretch, the National Lottery & the European Union).
As long as child prostitution will exist abroad, raising awareness will remain one of our priorities.