Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Press Release

Young people call for an end to the sexual exploitation of children on World Youth Day
Bangkok, Thailand - Children and adolescents around the globe are working together with ECPAT International to put an end to the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the lead up to the World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents to be held 25-28 November, 2008 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Through representation in the Organizing Committee of the Congress and their participation in regional meetings in East Asia/Pacific, South Asia, Latin America and Africa to take place this month, children and adolescents between 12-18 years of age will help identify and find solutions to new dimensions of child trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and abuse in travel and tourism that are important in their region. These issues will be brought forward to the World Congress III.
Around 300 children and adolescents will participate in theWorld Congress III, with around 150 young participants coming from Brazil and around 150 young participants coming from other countries and regions of the world. The youth participants include those who are at-risk or are survivors of sexual exploitation that are now directly involved in stopping this problem, through their networks, shelters, schools and communities, as well as other children and adolescents actively involved in child rights work linked to initiatives for protection against sexual exploitation.
‘Now is the time to get involved to make sure governments and policymakers listen to the experiences of young people, and to promote the importance of working together with children and youth to find sustainable solutions for ending sexual exploitation,’ said Lotta Segerström, youth representative on the board of ECPAT International.
'Children are the backbone of our nation and it is the duty of everyone to protect them because if they are abused and exploited, we cannot dream of a prosperous nation,' said Suman Bhujel, a member of ECPAT’s Youth Partnership Project in South Asia (YPP).
All children and youth can get involved right now by sharing their views on how children’s right to live free of sexual exploitation can be achieved by going online and using the child-friendly consultation tool. All input and ideas received will contribute to thematic background papers on the different themes of the Congress that are being developed for participants to the World Congress III. For more information, see http://www.eicyac.org/Get_Involved/index.html.
TheWorld Congress III will bring together more than 3000 participants comprised of governments, civil society, international organizations, private sector, children and young people to map out the actions to be taken to combat the sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT International, a global network of organisations and individuals working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes, is a key organizing partner of the World Congress III. ECPAT International is the only World Congress organizer that has a youth representative on the Organizing Committee of the World Congress III.
For further information:
Caroline Liou, Information & Communications Officer, ECPAT International, email carolinel@ecpat.net, tel +66 84 729 7528 ext 128, Fax: + 66 (0) 2 215 8272, http://www.ecpat.net
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