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Insufficient protection for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Belgium

examen-periodique-universelThis is the main conclusion of the ECPAT Belgium’s report for the Universal Periodic Review undertaken by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Besides harmonizing its legislation to the international treaties regarding child prostitution and pornography, Belgium should enhance its efforts to better identify and protect child victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »

ECPAT International Network Celebrates 25 Years of Dedication to Ending CSEC

Twenty-five years to this day, the idea of a campaign to ‘End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism’ was launched in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the aim ‘to end the sexual abuse of children by tourists’.

 

25-Years_History

 

Twenty-five years later, this campaign has evolved into a global network of civil society organisations, now known by the acronym ECPAT, dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with member groups and affiliates in 77 countries.

If we are proud of the achievements accomplished, we are also aware of the challenges ahead. So Happy Birthday ECPAT International and the fight goes on!

Presse release

 

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »

25 years of children’s rights but which protection against commercial sexual exploitation?

LogoCRC25At the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ECPAT Belgium publishes its Global Monitoring Report on the Status of Action against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Belgium.

In Belgium, the sexual exploitation of children still exists and both foreign-born and Belgian minors are exploited through prostitution, pornography and trafficking.

Despite a robust legal framework and the commitment of the Belgian authorities to end sexual exploitation against children, more can be done to better protect children from these heinous crimes.

ECPAT’s report suggests priority actions urgently needed to proactively advance the national fight against CSEC. These actions include: the adoption of a national plan of action against CSEC; improving the training of front line workers coming into contact with potential CSEC victims; increasing support for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking; and increasing child and youth participation in the fight against CSEC.

See also our analysis « La Convention pour les droits de l’enfant, 25 ans après : avancées et défis dans la lutte contre l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants » (in French only) and the Press release.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »

ACCOR Belgium signs the Code

Danielle Van Kerckhoven, administrator and founder of ECPAT Belgique (left) & Caro van Eekelen, Chief Operating Officer à ACCOR Hotel Services BeNeLux (right)

ECPAT Belgium is pleased to announce the signing by ACCOR Belgium of the « Code of Conduct for the protection of children against the sexual commercial exploitation in tourism », an important step on the day before the 25th anniversary of the International Convention for the Rights of the Child. Belgium is therefore to become the 37th country in which the hotel group makes this commitment.

The fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children requires the engagement of  all sectors in contact with the victims or the potential abusers. The ACCOR Group is a major actor of the tourism industry with 3600 hotels all around the world. Working alongside ECPAT International since many years through this Code, ACCOR has decided to enhance its commitment by signing the Code at the Belgian level.

This signature marks the beginning of the implementation of the 6 criteria of the Code in Belgium. Concretely, this symbolic act commits the hotel Group to set up clear procedures to fight sexual commercial exploitation of children and to train its staff on the issue in order to prevent and report the abuse.

From January on and in close collaboration with ECPAT Belgium, all staff will be trained to react when facing a suspicious situation of a case of sexual exploitation of children. « No one should let a child being abused, and it is important that every staff member knows what to do in case of a suspicious  situation » has explained Katlijn Declercq, Vice-Chair of ECPAT International. ACCOR Belgium will also have to provide travelers with information on the possibilities to alert on suspicious cases. The group will raise awareness among its customers to the new I say STOP ! website and disseminate ECPAT’s documentation so that they know what to do when a suspicious situation is occurring.

Copyright ECPAT Belgique « Stop à l’exploitation sexuelle commerciale des enfants »