To effectively fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, communication is essential. But how can we ensure that it contributes to an effective protection of victims? First, by agreeing on the vocabulary used. Indeed, many disagreements and confusions persist as to existing notions. Terms such as « pedophile », « child prostitution » or « child pornography » are increasingly criticized as being imprecise, harmful, or stigmatizing towards children. However, depending on the words used, different images and perceptions will be created. Thus, the proper use of terms is necessary to adopt coherent laws and policies to address these issues.

The purpose of this document is to define several key terms, which ECPAT Belgium advises to adopt to avoid causing any harm to victims.

Following the first “Global Survivors’ Forum” organized by ECPAT International and which took place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on November 18th 2016, the “Bill of Rights for Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse” was published.

This Bill of Rights is the result of a collaboration involving children and young people (most of them victims of sexual abuse or exploitation), as well as several local ECPAT offices. The results of the project demonstrated that one of the major barriers to children accessing justice is a low level of awareness of their rights. The Bill of Rights was therefore developed to inform children  about their right to effective access to justice and remedies.

In order to help professionals disseminate the tools, a Q&A has also been created.

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

A summary of the Global Study of ECPAT International on sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, to which ECPAT Belgium contributed, is now available in French.

This study shed a new light on the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism and debunked a few myths related to the offenders and victims, as well as on the places and circumstances in which the phenomenon may occur.

A child-friendly version is also available in French.

Global Study SECTT

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

Dutch businessman Pieter Ceulen, 60, from Antwerp, Belgium, has been sentenced to nineteen years imprisonment by the Antwerp criminal court for child sex crimes both in the Philippines and Cambodia. He had also filmed the abuse and shared the films with other pedophiles. The Dutch businessman was not in court for the sentencing and has already fled Belgium to return to Cambodia.

pieter ceulen

ECPAT welcomes this conviction but regrets that Mr. Ceulen might escape his sentence. So far, there is no extradition treaty between Belgium and Cambodia. Full cooperation between Belgian and Cambodian authorities will therefore be necessary to arrest the 60 year-old businessman.

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On the 13th and 14th of October, ECPAT Belgium attended the Don’t Look Away project’s final conference organized by ECPAT France. Around 100 experts from child rights NGO’s, the tourism sector and law enforcement agencies gathered in Paris to discuss how to better protect children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

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Eurostat published the 2015 edition of the report on statistics on human trafficking in the European Union, covering the period 2010-2012. Where do the identified victims of trafficking come from? And the traffickers? What form of exploitation are the most common? 19% of identified victims are children. 55% of identified victims are under 24 and 69% are sexually exploited. Belgium is no exception, being in the top five of the EU countries where the traffickers come from.

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These figures show the urgent need of better protection for children against trafficking. At the occasion of the EU Anti-trafficking day (18th of October), the Council of Europe recalled that governments must act to prevent and combat child trafficking.

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150,000 is the number of visits by month for this file sharing website. It was revealed and taken offline last August thanks to Norwegian journalists 10 years after its creation. During their investigation, the journalists identified 95,000 downloads including 500 from Belgian computers. Belgian prosecutors are trying to track down the Webmaster and users of this site. A bad news that shows us how much the fight against commercial sexual exploitation online is important.


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