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Better protection of children against sexual exploitation

November 23rd, 2023

Millions of children worldwide are sexually exploited, both online and offline. This number is still growing. The Down to Zero Alliance is committed to the protection of children and the prevention of sexual exploitation in twelve countries in Asia and Latin America. We do this together with children, young people, activists, parents, schools, governments, companies, and everyone who can make a difference, in the Step Up the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation of Children (SUFASEC) programme.

Children in Thailand
Children in Thailand

Children take centre stage

The focus of the programme is on children in all their diversity. They must be better protected against sexual exploitation, regardless of their sex, origin, gender identity, religion, race, physical and mental ability.

Children and young people themselves know better than anyone what is important to them. That is why they have a leading role in the programme. They are trained as youth leaders so they can raise their voices and be heard. They work to change the social norms and harmful traditions that perpetuate child sexual exploitation. They also ask the government and authorities for better policies, legislation and enforcement, and stronger systems to protect them.

Protection and prevention

The environment in which children and young people grow up must be safe. The online environment of children and young people must also protect against sexual exploitation. With awareness, training and intensive lobbying activities, the SUFASEC programme involves parents and caregivers, government and business. They must create the framework for children and young people to develop optimally in complete safety.

Down to Zero

The Down to Zero Alliance consists of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Child Rights Coalition Asia, Conexión, Defence for Children - ECPAT, Free a Girl and Plan International, in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Alliance has been working since 2016 to prevent and stop sexual exploitation of children.

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