ECPAT International

Last updated: 2023-02-02

About our SID activities

ECPAT International and our members work globally to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in all its settings, including child sexual exploitation through prostitution, trafficking, early and forced marriage, online, and in the context of travel and tourism.

We work to understand the problem through research while pushing for the critical systemic and social changes necessary to end the sexual exploitation of children. We advocate for a stronger legal environment to protect children; we raise awareness among the public about the issue; we partner with businesses to prevent their services from being misused; we do research to understand this crime, and we help survivors to come to terms with what has happened to them – and better understand their rights. 

What we are doing to support the SID 2023 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…

With the rise of social media and personal computers, never before it has been easier for perpetrators to make direct contact with children online, as children and young people are increasingly using internet to connect with peers for educational purposes and for play. Online sexual exploitation and abuse includes acts of grooming, live-streaming, producing, consuming and re-sharing child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and coercing and blackmailing children for sexual purposes.  

Perpetrators of online child sexual abuse can impact victims emotionally and physically for a lifetime. Children who are victims of online sexual abuses can potentially be re-victimised, as the images of their traumatic experience is spread online. Once uploaded, these images and videos are especially difficult it is to remove and can be shared globally before they are ever taken down. 

Identifying and investigating offenders is a difficult undertaking which is made even more so by online technology companies that fail to employ existing fail safes to scan and spot child sexual abuse material, failing to protect children online. There is an ongoing debate between the tech industry, governments, and civil society organisations around how to ensure the balance between each online user’s privacy and child safety online. We fully recognise that users of online services have a legitimate interest in ensuring their data is protected. However, children have a right to their safety online.  

For these reasons, we are working to ensure better coordination and collaboration between governments, tech companies, law enforcement agencies, and online service providers to keep children safe online.  

What we are doing to mark the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day…

In May 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new law to prevent and combat child sexual abuse online in the EU. We are advocating to ensure this law will enter into force and online service providers will be required to detect, report, and remove child sexual abuses online in the EU. We call on EU policymakers to act as leaders at setting worldwide standards for child safety online.   

This Safer Internet Day, join us as we are sharing more information about what we can all do to better protect children online. 

About us

With a membership of 124 civil society organisations in 104 countries, ECPAT is the world’s largest influencing network solely focused on ending the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
ECPAT’s mission to end child sexual exploitation, started over 30 years ago, with a global campaign launched in 1990, when a small group of concerned individuals gathered in Northern Thailand to face this issue. Organisations from across the globe heard this call to action and joined forces to provide support. Since then, ECPAT works across the globe to better understand the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation to ensure all children can live a life free from abuse and exploitation.

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