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Stories Behind the Numbers: Voices Behind the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation

Ten testimonies from young people and community leaders tell their stories of being part of the fight against sexual exploitation. These young people and community leaders fight for a more just and safer society for children and adolescents.

Stories Behind the Numbers: Voices Behind the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a phenomenon that affects 2 million children worldwide. Children are sexually exploited, in return for cash or in kind payment to the child but more often to a third party. These acts are illegal, demeaning and threaten the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of children. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a complex problem with multiple drivers. Poverty, armed conflict, cultural norms and values, modern communication technology, increased mobility worldwide, lack of information, lack of political will and corruption are factors that make children vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and to impunity of their offenders. Ideally all these causes are addressed in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children.

In the ‘Down to Zero’ Alliance, the organizations Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children – ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO Cooperation are joining their forces to put an end to commercial sexual exploitation in eleven countries in Asia and Latin America, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Down to Zero enables children and young people to defend their own rights, enables communities to become safer and protective of their children against commercial sexual exploitation and 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 preventing and fighting sexual exploitation of children.

In Latin America, young people and community leaders from Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Guatemala express the importance of being part of the fight against sexual exploitation in the campaign ‘Stories behind the numbers’. Watch the video and pictures to get to know these young people and community leaders.