Down to Zero Peru

The Down to Zero (DtZ) program includes preventative and protective measures that focus on actual child victims and children at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a fundamental violation of children's rights. It consists of child prostitution, child pornography, and child trafficking for sexual purposes. The DtZ program is carried out in four countries in Latin America, including Peru.

  • Location
  • Start project
  • Projectstatus
  • ID: NL-KVK-56484038-C_005862
Share this page


Peru’s current population is over 31 million of which 38% is younger than 18 years. 76% of Peruvians live in the urban zone while 31% live in the capital Lima. Since the mid-twentieth century there have been an ongoing migration from rural to urban zones or to rural zones with more access to market opportunities.

Economic growth and poverty
Due to significant economic growth since the 90s, the estimated GDP per capita has increased from $1,500 to $6,000. This has strengthened the purchasing power of families and, therefore, caused a progressive decrease in poverty. However, poverty levels are still high: 23.9 % of the population in Peru faces poverty, of which 4.7% lives in extreme poverty. The poor are concentrated in the rural zones, especially in the Andean area where 62.6% of children live in poverty. Half of the children under 15 years living in rural areas are poor; 35.9% of the poor have Quechua, Aymara or an Amazonian language as their mother tongue. Poverty affects the development of children and causes other associated problems such as malnutrition, school abandoning, teenage pregnancy or violation of human rights.

In the Down to Zero program ICCO Cooperation aims at teaching at-risk children like street children, adolescents, and other victims to speak out, advocate, and seek protection against sexual exploitation. Personal development plans are an important tool in the program. We motivate children and adolescents to get organized in youth-led organizations that access specialized services that protect them, help them rehabilitate, reintegrate, and reduce their vulnerability to commercial sexual exploitation.

Government and stakeholders
We make private sector stakeholders in the tourist industry of major tourist destinations and the mining industry aware of their role in fighting commercial sexual exploitation, and make sure they amend their practices and/or business models based on ethical principles and values to actively protect children. Last but not least, we urge the government at all levels and in all fields to take action.
Down to Zero Peru

Target group

Our main focus are the most vulnerable children under the age of 18, whereas in some cases it also includes support to young people up to the age of 25. We pay special attention to street children and exploited children, particularly girls, of ethnic communities. Capital Humano y Social Alternativo, a non-governmental organization which aims to support social development of individuals, organizations and society, will work with the government and the private sector, e.g., the tourist industry.


All groups ie, children, communities, governments and the private sector are key players in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children and are equally important. The government ought to take more responsibility in protecting the children. Part of the project is that we lobby to make funds available by the government. In addition, communities are made aware that they should teach their children how they can protect themselves The private sector forbids l sexual exploitation of children in their work areas. All these elements are likely to have a long-term impact.

Goals overview

The goals of the Down to Zero program are:

- Children: Child victims and at-risk children are empowered and act as agents of change and are able to protect themselves from (re)victimization of commercial sexual exploitation.
- Communities: Targeted communities are safer, offer better protection to child victims and can prevent children from becoming (re)victimized.
- Governments and law enforcement agencies: governments and judiciary systems apply policies, plans of actions, budgets and protocols to effectively combat the exploitation.
- Private sector: market leaders or branch associations of e.g., the tourist industry, ICT, transportation are actively engaged in the protection of children against commercial sexual exploitation.