Down to Zero

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a phenomenon that affects 2 million children worldwide. In an alliance named 'Down to Zero' Terre des Hommes Netherlands (lead), Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children - ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO Cooperation work together aiming to end commercial sexual exploitation in ten countries in Asia and Latin America by 2020, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This 5-year programme enables children and young people to defend their own rights, enables communities to become safer and protective of their children against commercial sexual exploitation enables governments to improve and implement related policies, laws and regulations. The Alliance also collaborates with the private sector, for example in the tourist industry.


In many instances, sexual exploitation concerns girls and young women. They originate from areas where they are often not protected: women and girls are often considered inferior. On top of that, in many countries the legislation to protect them has not been put in place. In refugee camps and during large events such as the FIFA World Cup, girls are also extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. As more and more people can access the Internet, we see an increased problem here as well. At any time of the day, an estimated 750,000 men are looking online for sex with minors.

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The Down to Zero programme focuses on four strategic objectives to ban commercial sexual exploitation of children in ten countries:

Raising awareness

Safe environment

Policies, action plans and protocols

Involving market leaders & industry

What we do

The Down to Zero alliance addresses the commercial sexual exploitation of children in ten countries by:

  • enabling children and adolescents to defend their own rights.
  • helping communities to better protect their children from commercial sexual exploitation.
  • improving and implementing relevant policies and laws and regulations in the ten countries.
  • cooperating with the industry to for example prevent and address sexual exploitation of children in the tourism sector.

Our results

Our achieved results are mentioned per year in the annual report.

The Annual Report 2019

Download the 2019 Annual Report

The Annual Report 2018

The Annual Report 2017

The Annual Report 2016

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