Down to Zero: many achievements, but fight against sexual exploitation remains urgent
Down To Zero, an alliance of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children – ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO (part of Cordaid), aims to ensure that children and youth are better protected when at risk or victim of sexual exploitation, during and in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, NicaraguaStart Project
The Covid-19 outbreak led to economic stress such as inflation and loss of jobs, containment measures, budget diversions away from child protection towards Covid-19 responses and disrupted education. All this resulted in an increase in cases of sexual exploitation of children (SEC). Vulnerable children, their parents, caregivers and other community members in Latin America and in Asia are less able to protect children from the impact of the pandemic. They urgently need protection during this difficult time.
Down To Zero’s Building Back Better programme aims to contribute to a fully functional, effective Child Protection System, by ensuring that children are able to:
In parallel, the programme is strengthening:
Activities include awareness raising, provision of counselling, shelter, medical aid and legal support to withdraw child victims from exploitation, rehabilitation through education and vocational training, training for children and youth groups to become agents of change and youth advocates, economic support to vulnerable families, capacity building of formal and informal child protection actors, advocacy for a better prioritisation of addressing SEC at national and international levels.
The Building Back Better programme is aiming to help more than 100,000 individuals and 1,000 organisations in Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) and in Latin America (Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Brazil, Dominican Republic).
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