ECPAT
History

Since its beginnings in 1991, ECPAT has grown from a Regional Initiative to Global Network of 65 countries. ECPAT Philippines was involved from the very beginning.

An international tourism consultation in the 1990s highlighted the growing phenomenon of child prostitution in Asia. The meeting ended with a resolve to take action and to organize a three-year campaign from 1991 to 1993 entitled ‘End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism’ (ECPAT). In the first year ECPAT offices were opened in Sri Lanka, Philippines and Taiwan.

In 1996, ECPAT International in partnership with UNICEF and the NGO group for the Rights of the Child, in coordination with the Swedish Government, a World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. ECPAT would now work for the protection of children not only in Asia but also in every part of the world and include the whole range of issues revolving around the commercial exploitation of children. The acronym ECPAT was then changed to encompass the issues that it is working towards more comprehensively. ECPAT now stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes.

Since 1991, ECPAT Philippines has worked on combating the issue of CSEC through extensive networking and lobbying for reform in legislation and policy. ECPAT Philippines has actively participated in the making of important laws that aid in the prosecution of criminals associated with commercial sexual exploitation. Such laws have been created with ECPATs involvement, Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection Against Child Abuse Act, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and Republic Act 9208 or also known as the Trafficking in Persons Act. More recently, ECPAT was involved in campaigning for the Anti-Pornography Act 9775.

The ECPAT global network is composed of 83 member organisations in 75 countries. ECPAT works to build collaboration among local civil society actors and the broader child rights community to form a global social movement for protection of children from sexual exploitation. ECPAT members provide direct care to child victims, conduct research, implement awareness-­raising campaigns, work on advocacy and lobby with governments and capacity building trainings for relevant stakeholders.