COVID-19: Children at greater risk of sexual abuse and exploitation

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in an unprecedented way. If the world is currently slowing down, sexual predators never stop and are continuously adapting. Many factors induced by this sanitary crisis facilitate the perpetuation of violence, especially against children. What is the impact of COVID-19 on children? What can we do to protect them, especially from sexual exploitation and abuse?

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What are the quality standards for child sexual abuse reporting websites?

The ECPAT network has published a new study outlining quality standards for reporting lines for child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Since 2014, the platform www.dontlookaway.report has been increasingly successful. It now includes reporting lines from more than 20 countries around the world. In order for these websites to function and follow up complaints properly, members will now have to meet a number of quality criteria. The same applies, of course, to the Belgian site “I say STOP!

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New study: Comparison of European low-threshold reporting mechanisms

Are the (inter)national reporting mechanisms efficient to collect reports of child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism? What would be the improvements needed to ensure that the information provided by travelers can be used in investigations and lead to prosecutions? ECPAT is pleased to announce the publication of a new study which aim was to collect and compare information regarding the international reporting platform (dontlookaway.report) as well as the national reporting portals (Austria, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands).  

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New study: Reluctance to report sexual exploitation of children

How many people would be willing to report cases of sexual exploitation while travelling abroad? To answer this question, we asked 1081 participants from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. 

The interesting conclusions of the survey have been published in a new study, that allowed us to better understand the obstacles to report suspicious situations of child sexual exploitation. If you don’t want to read 40 pages, we’ve made it easier for you with this brochure.

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The non-punishment of victims of trafficking finally inserted in Belgian law

Imagine a Nigerian minor forced into prostitution with false documents. Or children forced to commit robberies in organized gangs. While being victims of trafficking of human beings, these minors are also perpetrators of crimes committed under duress. Can justice prosecute them? Yes, but since July 1 2019, these victims can no longer be punished for offences resulting from their exploitation.

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Sexual abuse of minors in the Church: the obligation to denounce, a real step forward?

On May 9, Pope Francis introduced a new decree into canon law requiring the denunciation of cases of sexual violence against minors. This text was eagerly awaited by the victims, does it keep all its promises?

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Rape without physical contact, is it punishable by law?

Yes, in a judgment of 25 September last, the Brussels Court of First Instance sentenced a man for rape of a minor, without the author having had any physical contact with his victim, the abuse taking place by means of a webcam. A verdict that will hopefully set a precedent because it sweeps away the idea that rape cannot be committed “at a distance”, as is the case with new technologies. Read more…

Petit Paul, a well-founded polemic?

For several weeks, critics have been hovering around the comic book Petit Paul, an adult book telling the story of a 10-year-old boy with a disproportionate sex. Because it illustrates extremely explicit sexual acts between a minor boy and adult women, this comic book rightly shocked many readers. Read more … 

Lessons learned on how to improve child protection in the humanitarian sector: ECPAT Belgium’s standpoint

Lessons learned on how to improve child protection in the humanitarian sector: ECPAT Belgium’s standpoint

On February, the 9th 2018, newspapers started disclosing allegations affecting Oxfam UK: after the earthquakein Haiti (2010), aid workers allegedly paid to have sex with young local women, perhaps minors. What Oxfam is being blamed for is not so much its employees’ behaviour – no NGO being immune to a breach of its Code of conduct – but the way these facts were handled.

“Second-hand child for sell, rather good condition”

“Second-hand child for sell, rather good condition”

Dominic would like a family who would support him. He would love to cook for his new family, and he would like to be the youngest or only child. And here is Sabey. Sabey would like to be adopted by a traditional family, with two parents and other kids”. These product-like descriptions are spelled out by a middle-aged woman, standing at the back of a long catwalk. She holds a microphone in her hands and smiles at the audience. Her aim today is to manage to sell at least one child.